ACES ON BRIDGE
This deal from the second final session of the Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs in Washington, D.C., last summer was played by Rock Shin Yan. Yan was playing with Yichao Chen, whose jump to three clubs was a Bergen raise, showing four trumps and limit-raise values. Strictly speaking, it was not really up to him to redouble on an auction of this sort, since he had no obvious extras. However, he wanted to show that he had complete trust in his partner’s declarer play, and Yan rewarded that trust.
The opening lead of the heart six went to the king. Declarer knew that trumps would not be breaking, so it was important not to play on that suit. Instead, he followed up by advancing the diamond 10 to the ace, king and five. East exited with a heart to dummy’s ace, and Yan now played the club queen to East’s ace.
Yan won the club continuation with the king, ruffed a heart, ruffed a diamond and cashed the club jack.
He had reduced to a five-card ending where he had four trumps and a losing club in hand, while dummy had three trumps and a doubleton diamond. Meanwhile, West had his four spades and a small diamond.
At this point, South led his low spade from hand, and West put in the eight to force the jack. Declarer won in dummy, ruffed a diamond low in hand and exited with his club to force West to ruff in with the 10 and lead into declarer’s trump tenace. That resulted in 10 tricks and plus-880 for declarer.
ANSWER: Although you have only four cards in partner’s suits, I’d prefer to give preference to hearts, not bid no-trump. It is admittedly tempting to bid three hearts, assuming all your values are pulling more than their weight. I would settle for two hearts, though, expecting partner to move if he has a king more than an opener. If that is not so, game will be delicate at best. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, email him at