Baltimore Sun

Bridge Play

- Frank Stewart

To end the workweek, test your defense in today’s deal. Cover the West/South cards and try to beat four spades as East. (Hint: Note your trump holding.) West leads the eight of clubs, dummy plays low and you take your king. How do you continue?

You will win no more club tricks. You must assume that West has the ace of hearts; if South has it, he is headed for an overtrick. You must force South to ruff hearts; if you can make him ruff twice, you will have more trumps than he does.


If South has two low hearts, you have no worries; but if South has a singleton heart, you must lead

the king at Trick Two, then another heart. South ruffs and leads a trump, but you take the ace and lead a third heart. He must ruff again and loses control. You will score the setting trick with a low trump.

If you lead a low heart at the second trick, West takes the ace and returns a heart: queen, king, ruff. Then dummy’s jack of hearts is a winner, and South maintains control.


You hold: ♠ A542 ♥ K753

♦ 62 ♣ K 5 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: This problem is difficult. Since your partner might have as many as 18 points, you must not pass; but a bid of 2NT would be aggressive when you have no help for his diamonds and a “primary” spade stopper that might be dislodged easily. Bid two diamonds, a “false preference,” hoping partner will act again.

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