The Dallas Morning News

ACES ON BRIDGE

- By BOBBY WOLFF Andrews Mcmeel Syndicatio­n

North guessed well to use Stayman to reach four spades on a deal where three no-trump could have been set on repeated heart leads. The bidding had left South aware of where the missing high cards were, and he took full advantage of that.

When West led a low diamond, declarer figured that hand would hold both missing kings. A straightfo­rward plan would not bring the contract home in that case, so South decided that the only hope was to endplay West for a heart lead. The problem was that if he played on trumps immediatel­y, West would be able to defeat his cunning plan.

As a result of this line of thought, declarer won the first trick with dummy’s diamond king, then cashed the other diamond tops before leading a low trump. West rose with the spade ace and, not wanting to open either the heart or club suit, continued with the spade queen. Declarer countered this by playing low from dummy! Reluctantl­y, West shifted to a low club, which was won by declarer’s jack.

South then played a trump to the king to draw East’s last trump. He continued by playing a club to the ace and followed this with another club. West won his king but was now forced to lead hearts, allowing South to claim his contract.

If West had been able to continue with a trump after the spade queen held, declarer would have played a club to the ace, then the club queen. That still would have endplayed West if he had begun with 3=5=3=2 shape.

Answer: It feels wrong to me to sell out here, even though you will occasional­ly catch your partner with a flat hand and three clubs. Maybe you should play double here as cards, no clear action, in the face of your left-hand opponent showing six or more cards in the suit. You do not expect your partner to pass without trump tricks. However, it is important to have agreed that this double is not for penalty. If unsure, I would pass.

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