My friend Eddie Kantar is a superb technician. Kantar was declarer at today’s five diamonds. North’s double was negative, suggesting length in both minor suits but not enough strength to bid at the level of two.
After West led his singleton queen of hearts, the contract looked impossible: The defense could take a trump, a spade and a heart ruff. But when Kantar won with dummy’s king and led a trump to his queen, West played low, expecting that on the next trump, East would signal the location of his entry.
That gave Kantar a chance. Knowing that West must hold both missing trumps, Kantar took the ace
of clubs, led to the jack and cashed the king. When East discarded, Kantar led dummy’s fourth club ... and threw his spade loser.
West won, but since East could no longer gain the lead, West’s ace of trumps won the defender’s last trick.
Making five. Eddie Kantar knows loser-on-loser plays.
Question: You hold: ♠ Q ♥A J 9 8 ♦ K Q 9 5 3 ♣ A 4 3. You elect to open one heart, as did South in today’s deal. Your partner responds one spade, you bid two diamonds and he rebids two spades. What do you say?
Answer: Partner has six or more spades with fewer than 10 points, and if his hand is minimum, eight tricks may be your limit. But if he has K J 10 9 5 3,4, J 2, K 8 6 5, four spades will have a fine chance. Raise to three spades. Do not bid notrump. You need to play at spades.
South dealer Neither side vulnerable 2015, Tribune Content Agency