Cape Times

Forging ahead


WHEN some players are declarer, they remind me of the blacksmith who was arrested and jailed. He thought about escaping ... until he saw that he was held in irons he had forged himself.

At today’s 3NT, South won the first heart with dummy’s king and took the A-K of clubs. Alas, West showed out. South then led the queen and another club. He won East’s heart return, cashed two clubs and led the queen of spades. West played low, and the queen won, but East took the rest. Down one.


South forged his own downfall, as players will do. He gave himself one chance – a 3-2 club break but could do better. South must win the first heart in his hand and lead the queen of spades. If the queen wins, South plays safe by leading a low club next. He is sure of five clubs, two hearts and two spades.

If East took the king of spades and led a second heart, South could win in dummy and test the spades. If the suit broke badly, South would still succeed if clubs broke 3-2.


You hold: Q A74 763 A K Q 5 3 2. You open one club, your partner bids one spade, you rebid three clubs and he tries three hearts. What do you say?


This situation is uneasy, especially since your jump to three clubs was aggressive. (Your hand was worth two and a half clubs.) You can’t pass – partner’s three hearts is forcing – or bid 3NT. Bid four clubs or three spades. Your singleton queen may serve as adequate support.

North dealer N-S vulnerable

Opening lead –


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