Neither vulnerable. South deals. WEST ♠ Q 10 7 5 2 ♥ QJ6 ♦ 10 3 2 ♣ J 10 Opening lead: ?
Here’s another hand from Eddie Kantar’s award-winningseriesThinking Bridge, designed for players desirous of improving their game.
“Six no trump is a normal contract with 33 HCP between two balanced hands. Notice that six no trump has 11 top tricks, but six diamonds is cold. It is not easy to uncover a 4-4 minor suit fit after a one no trump or two no trump opening bid.
“Leading against six no trump is not like leading against three no trump. When the opponents land in three no NORTH ♠ 643 ♥ K752 ♦ AK65 ♣ K3 SOUTH ♠ AKJ ♥ A43 ♦ QJ98 ♣ AQ9 The bidding: SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST 2NT Pass 3 ♣ Pass 3 ♦ Pass 6NT Pass Pass Pass EAST ♠ 98 ♥ 10 9 8 ♦ 74 ♣ 876542 trump, figure they have about 25 highcard points. When West has 6 HCP, East figures to have about 9 HCP and, you hope, a spade honour or two. When the opponents land in six no trump, figure them for about 33 HCP. In this case, West can figure East for at most 1 HCP! A spade lead is no longer attractive. When leading against six no trump holding most or all the missing-card strength, lead passively unless, of course, you have a perfect sequence. The jack of clubs stands out. When dummy comes down, both defenders have a pretty good idea of partner’s count within a point.
“With 11 top tricks, declarer has two chances for an extra trick: hearts 3-3 or the spade finesse. In order to test both, declarer attacks hearts first. That is the suit with more cards (seven, versus six in spades). A heart is ducked at trick two, a technique that allows declarer to retain control. Declarer wins the likely club return, runs the diamonds and tests hearts. If hearts are 3-3, there are 12 tricks. If not, there is always the spade finesse to fall back on.
“With A x x facing K x x x, A x x x facing K x x , or Q x x facing K x x x, the normal way to develop tricks is to duck the first round of the suit followed by cashing the high honour from the short side and then over to the other honour. If the suit does not break 3-3, declarer retains the lead.”