Baltimore Sun

Bridge Play

- Frank Stewart

A snail is mugged by a turtle. The police arrive and ask the snail for a descriptio­n of the perpetrato­r.

“I don’t know,” the snail shrugs. “It all happened so fast.”

I suspect that today’s declarer didn’t know what hit him. He reached 3NT after suppressin­g his fourcard spade suit, but West led not a spade but the five of hearts. Dummy played low, and East took the king and shifted to the three of spades: queen, king, deuce. West returned the seven: five, nine, jack.


South next let the jack of diamonds ride. When East won, he led his last spade, and West scored two more tricks with his A-8 over South’s 10-6. Down one, in less time than it takes to tell.

South made an understand­able but fatal error; he played too fast to the first trick. Instead of playing a low heart from dummy, South must grab the ace, lead a club to his hand and finesse in diamonds. He is sure of four diamonds, four clubs and a heart, and loses no more than two spades, a diamond and a heart.


South dealer N-S vulnerable


♠ 52

♥ AJ4

♦ AQ1093

♣ QJ5

WEST AK87 52 642 8632

SOUTH QJ106 Q103 J5 AK104

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opening lead —


943 K9876 K87


North 1 3NT

East Pass

All Pass

You hold: ♠ AK87 ♥ 52 ♦ 642 ♣ 8 6 3 2. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade and he jumps to three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is a close judgment call. Partner’s jump-rebid in his own suit shows 16 or 17 high-card points with a good sixcard suit. Since you have two winners and a couple of hearts, to raise to four hearts would be reasonable, especially if vulnerable. Partner might hold 5 4, A K Q 9 4 3, A 5, K J 4. I would not criticize a pass.

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