Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST/TELEVISION - BOBBY WOLFF bob­by­wolff@mind­

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

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