The Washington Post - - TELEVISION - —Frank Ste­wart

Icon­tinue a se­ries on good tim­ing by de­clarer. You’re de­clarer at to­day’s six hearts. When North raised your one-heart re­sponse to three hearts, sug­gest­ing a semibal­anced or un­bal­anced hand with four-card sup­port, you judged that your hand was worth a cue bid of four di­a­monds to try for slam. That, it seems, was all the en­cour­age­ment North needed.

West leads the jack of spades to dummy’s ace. Count your tricks. You have four trumps in your hand plus the ace of di­a­monds. To take 12 tricks, you need dummy’s clubs to pro­vide four more tricks, and you also need two spade ruffs in dummy.

Pre­cise tim­ing is es­sen­tial. You must hope for a 3-2 club break, and you must also main­tain a link with dummy af­ter you have taken your spade ruffs and drawn trumps.

At Trick Two, lead a low club from dummy. If East wins and leads a di­a­mond, you take the ace, ruff a spade, lead a trump to your hand and ruff a spade. Then you can draw trumps and run the clubs.

Well played!


You hold: A A 10 8 6 J 10 3 AK532 You open one club. Your part­ner bids one spade. What do you say?

AN­SWER: No good an­swer ex­ists. A bid of 1NT or a re­bid of two clubs would be an un­der­bid. A few ex­perts would have tried to avoid the prob­lem by open­ing 1NT. If you have enough strength in your style for two hearts, choose that call. But most play­ers would want more to “re­verse,” es­pe­cially since part­ner’s re­sponse did not im­prove the hand.

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