Bridge Andrew Robson
To hold good trump support for your partner can hardly be a bad thing in itself. But if all your strength is in trumps and the rest of your hand is barren, you should be wary of bidding too optimistically. You are what is known as ‘trump-bound’.
If you replaced North’s ♥ QJ with two small hearts, and made two small cards elsewhere into a queen and a knave ( ♠ Q for example), then North would be worth 4 ♥ . As it was, ♥ QJ rated to be wasted – the heart suit figured to play without loss in either case – and a raise to 3 ♥ would have been sufficient. 4 ♥ was a dreadful contract, yet it made through a combination of good declarer play and ordinary defence. 1. Weak Two, showing six decent diamonds
and 5-10 points, a mini-pre-empt. 2. Close between Pass, 2 ♥ and a take-out
double. 3. Tempting but North has so much in hearts and not enough outside. Further, he has the wrong number of diamonds. The opponents appear to have a nine-card fit; better, therefore, to have either one diamond, or three (meaning partner probably has only one). West led ♦ K and, when it held, followed with
♦ Q. His safe ♣ J switch was won by ♣ K and declarer drew trumps, cashed ♣ A, crossed to a trump in dummy, trumped ♣ 7, then led
♠ 3. West played ♠ 8 and dummy’s ♠ K held the trick, East playing ♠ 2. Declarer returned dummy’s ♠ 5 and East’s ♠ Q won the trick.
With no more spades to play, East was now forced to lead a minor-suit card. Declarer trumped in hand, discarded ♠ 7 from dummy, and claimed the rest. West had ‘gone to bed’ with his ♠ A and was disappointed with his partner’s defence. Can you see why? East should have unblocked his ♠ Q under dummy’s ♠ K, enabling West to win the second spade trick and cash a third round. ANDREW ROBSON