The Washington Post

BRIDGE

- Sports · Memphis · Frank Stewart · American Contract Bridge League

In March, the ACBL staged its Spring Cham­pi­onships in Mem­phis. Former world cham­pion Pe­ter We­ich­sel was de­clarer in to­day’s deal (re­ported by Barry Ri­gal) in the Plat­inum Pairs. The Blue Rib­bon Pairs at the Fall NABC was once the ACBL’s premier pairs event, but qual­i­fy­ing be­came so easy that the league es­tab­lished the Plat­inum for play­ers who have done well in ma­jor events.

West’s jump to three clubs at­tests to the devil-may-care state of mod­ern pre­empts. Against four spades, West led the jack and a se­cond club. East won and led a low trump. We­ich­sel won and re­turned a trump, and East took his ace and got out with a third trump.

South ran his trumps. Af­ter nine tricks, he had A-Q-7 of hearts and a di­a­mond. Dummy had two hearts and the A-Q of di­a­monds. East was stuck. When he kept K-x in both red suits, We­ich­sel led a di­a­mond to dummy’s ace and fi­nessed in hearts. His seven won the 13th trick, mak­ing four.

Per­haps West should have shifted to di­a­monds at Trick Two.

DAILY QUES­TION

You hold:

m A 9 8 n K 9 6 3

oK 93 pA K 6

Your part­ner opens one di­a­mond, you re­spond one heart and he bids two clubs. What do you say?

AN­SWER: A grand slam is pos­si­ble. Part­ner might hold 7, A Q, A Q J 8 6 2, Q 10 7 2. Since you don’t know enough to place the con­tract, bid two spades — a forc­ing “fourth­suit” ac­tion — and let part­ner make an­other de­scrip­tive call. If he bids three di­a­monds, sug­gest­ing ex­tra strength, you can take over with 4NT, Black­wood.

— Frank Ste­wart ©2019, TRI­BUNE CON­TENT AGENCY, LLC.

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