Fri­day, Novem­ber 24

The Mercury News Weekend - - A+E - Frank Ste­wart

Many good bridge books ap­peared re­cently, in­clud­ing “Bat­tling the Best,” Sar­taj Hans’ pen­e­trat­ing and award-win­ning ac­count of a ma­jor tour­na­ment, and “The Ab­bot’s Re­turn to Earth,” rib-tick­ling hu­mor by David Bird.

“Judg­ment at Bridge 2” by pro­lific author Mike Lawrence has solid, prac­ti­cal ad­vice on bid­ding. (In this con­ven­tion-happy world, I was grat­i­fied to read a book that lists con­ven­tions play­ers should avoid.)

Lawrence notes that when your part­ner pre­empts and the next player dou­bles, your bid in a new suit should be lead­di­rect­ing. If to­day’s East raises to three hearts at his first turn, West will lead a heart — dis­as­trously — against the even­tual four spades.

But East’s three clubs shows heart tol­er­ance and club strength, so West leads the jack of clubs. The de­fense takes three clubs, and when East leads a fourth club, they also get a trump.

Baron Bar­clay has ev­ery­thing in print, in­struc­tional soft­ware and other bridge-re­lated items. See baron­bar­


You hold: AQ974 Q7 K53 8 4 2. Your part­ner opens one heart, you re­spond one spade and he re­bids two hearts. What do you say?

AN­SWER: Part­ner’s two hearts prom­ises six or more hearts. He would never be com­pelled to re­bid a five-card suit here. He could in­stead bid 1NT or bid two of a mi­nor suit or sup­port the spades. You have enough strength to in­vite game, but your club weak­ness warns against bid­ding 2NT. Raise to three hearts.

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