Bridge

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Frank Ste­wart

In one semi­fi­nal match of the pres­ti­gious Van­der­bilt Teams at the Spring NABC, Nick NICK­ELL’s fear­some sex­tet trailed at the half, then clob­bered their

op­po­nents (An­drew ROSEN­THAL) 74 to 5 in the third stanza and won eas­ily.

At one ta­ble in to­day’s deal, NorthSouth went down at five di­a­monds, los­ing three aces. At the other ta­ble, Eric Rod­well-Jeff Meck­stroth, NICK­ELL’s North-South, got to 3NT. South’s 1NT showed 14 to 16 points! North’s three di­a­monds ar­ti­fi­cially showed a sin­gle­ton some­where. South’s three hearts asked where.

West led the ten of spades. East sig­naled with the six, and Meck­stroth took the king and led the king of di­a­monds. West for ROSEN­THAL grabbed his ace and led ... the jack of clubs. De­clarer had nine tricks.

Ex­perts can err -- badly -- late in a gru­el­ing event when stamina be­comes a fac­tor. West must duck the first di­a­mond, giv­ing his part­ner a chance to sig­nal. On the next di­a­mond, East will play a low club, and West will know to lead a heart.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & 8 h KQ 107 ( Q984 $ A Q 8 6. You open one club, and your part­ner bids one spade. What do you say?

An­swer: This is an un­com­fort­able prob­lem. Had your hand been slightly weaker, you might have avoided it by not open­ing. You can­not bid two of a red suit, which would be a strength-show­ing re­verse. Bid 1NT. Some play­ers would have opened one di­a­mond, in­tend­ing to re­bid two clubs. That plan would also have se­ri­ous flaws.

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