Bridge

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Frank Ste­wart

You’re to­day’s de­clarer at four hearts. You have more trumps than you need. You have two side suits you would rather see the op­po­nents lead. (You would like West to lead di­a­monds, East to lead clubs.) And you can make it costly for ei­ther op­po­nent to lead spades.

Those con­di­tions sug­gest you look for an end play: giv­ing an op­po­nent the lead when any­thing he does will help you. Can you spot the best line of play?

If West has the queen of spades for his open­ing lead, your game is cold. Take dummy’s ace of spades and draw trumps. Next cash the A-K of clubs, lead the jack of spades and dis­card your last club: a loser on a loser.

West takes the queen but is stuck. If he leads an­other spade, you ruff in dummy and dis­card a di­a­mond, los­ing at most two di­a­monds. If West leads a club, you play dummy’s jack, and if East can cover, dummy’s fourth club will be a win­ner. If West leads a di­a­mond, your king will score for your 10th trick. This week: end plays.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ K Q10864 ♥ 3 ♦ AQ8 ♣ 765. Your part­ner opens one heart, you bid one spade and he jumps to three hearts. The op­po­nents pass. What do you say? An­swer: Your part­ner’s jump in his own suit is in­vi­ta­tional to game, not forc­ing. He shows a hand worth about 17 points with six (or per­haps seven) good hearts. Bid three spades. If you had a weak hand with long spades, you would pass, hence any fur­ther bid you make is forc­ing.

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