Bridge ‘Thinking Bridge’
For years, my friend Eddie Kantar has contributed an excellent “Thinking Bridge” feature to Daily Bulletins at the ACBL North American Championships. Today’s Kantar deal appeared during the Fall NABC in San Diego.
South’s opening bid of two clubs is strong and artificial. North’s two diamonds is negative or waiting, and East’s double is lead-directing. North would prefer three-card spade support to raise at his second turn, but he has no better call.
South’s jump to five clubs at his third turn is a gadget called “Exclusion Keycard Blackwood”: It asks North to show aces outside the club suit. His five hearts shows one, so South goes to six spades.
SINGLETON West leads a diamond — a sure singleton — so declarer is at risk of a ruff. If he lets the queen of trumps ride next, or even if he leads the ace and a second trump, he goes down.
Instead, South goes to the ace of spades and discards his last diamond on the ace of clubs. He can then lead a second trump safely. DAILY QUESTION You hold: ♠ A8 ♥ 3 2 ♦ 7 5 4 3 2 ♣ A 10 8 7. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT, he bids two hearts and you return to two spades. Partner bids three hearts. What do you say? ANSWER: Despite your weak preference, partner still aspires to game. He wouldn’t have bid three hearts just to show you length in both majors. Since you have a side ace and a possible ruffing value, bid four spades. He may hold K Q J 9 4, A Q 10 5 4, A 6, 5. South dealer N-S vulnerable