Join Bridge Winners
Equal Honors
(Page of 8)

In a Round of 16 match in the Open Trials, you have to find the best competitive action opposite partner's preempt.

Both vul, East deals. As West, you hold:

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
W
N
E
S
3
P
?

Your call?

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
W
N
E
S
3
P
?

It looks unlikely that you can make 4, although it could be making if partner has the right shape. You would like to buy it for 3. Unfortunately, that probably won't happen. The opponents have half the deck, and they are short in hearts. If you pass it is likely that North will come in, and you will then have to guess what to do. It looks better to bid 4 now and let the opponents guess what to do.

You bid 4. The bidding continues:

W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
?

Your call?

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
?

You have considerably better defense against 5 than 5. Had South bid 5, doubling would be pretty speculative. You are happy where they are in 5, which you can almost certainy defeat.

However, South did pick clubs with his eyes open. He knows that North has both minors. There is no reason to think that South will run just because you double. From his point of view you may have even better defense against diamonds. He is almost certain to stay where he is. It is right to double and collect as big a number as possible.

You double, ending the auction.

W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P

Your lead?

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P

Dummy could be void in either major. There is no reason to lead anything but the ace of hearts.

You lead the ace of hearts.

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
North
K
Q
AQJ854
AKQ73
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P

Partner plays the jack of hearts, and declarer the 5.

Even on an ace lead, when dummy has a singleton your agreements are to give suit-preference. 10, 9, 8 are suit-preference high. 2, 3, 4 are suit-preference low. 6, 5, 7 are encouraging. The jack has a special meaning. It says that partner doesn't have the spot card for the signal he wishes to give.

After trick 1, UDCA.

Your play?

West
A653
72
K10
J1062
North
K
AQJ854
AKQ73
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P

Whatever else is going on, it has to be right to cash the ace of spades. Maybe you will get some clue about what to do next.

You cash the ace of spades. Partner plays the 2, and declarer the 7. What do you try now?

West
653
72
K10
J1062
North
AQJ854
AKQ73
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P

You want to avoid letting declarer get to his hand for a diamond finesse if declarer has a doubleton diamond. That means you need to continue the suit in which partner has the king. You could shift to a club, but if declarer has the 9 and reads the position that could let him make a no-play contract.

What is going on? With dummy having the stiff queen of hearts, the king and jack of hearts are equal honors. If partner has the king of hearts, he should have played the king rather than the jack. This would leave no doubt about what is going on in the heart suit. Partner doesn't have to have the king of hearts for his preempt.

On the other hand, if partner had the queen of spades or a singleton spade, why did he play the jack of hearts? You know he has the 10, and he could have played that card as an unambiguous signal for spades.

The conclusion must be that partner played the jack of hearts because he doesn't have a spot card to encourage in hearts. Yes, he should have played the king of hearts, and you would not have had a problem. However, this must have been the mistake he made.

You choose to lead a spade. Declarer wins the queen, takes a diamond finesse, and cashes the ace of diamonds. When your king falls he cashes dummy's high trumps and concedes down 1. The full hand is:

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
North
K
Q
AQJ854
AKQ73
East
J2
KJ10983
972
54
South
Q109874
654
63
98
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
J
5
0
0
1
A
K
2
7
0
0
2
5
4
J
Q
3
1
2
6
10
Q
2
1
2
2
A
7
3
K
1
3
2
5

A heart continuation would have been more successful.

How was the N-S bidding?

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
North
K
Q
AQJ854
AKQ73
East
J2
KJ10983
972
54
South
Q109874
654
63
98
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
J
5
0
0
1
A
K
2
7
0
0
2
5
4
J
Q
3
1
2
6
10
Q
2
1
2
2
A
7
3
K
1
3
2
5

North's 4NT call looks clear. He has no idea which of his defensive tricks will live vs. 4, and he needs little to make 5 of a minor. He was unlucky with what he found South with.

South was stuck. Clearly he had to start with 5. When 5 got doubled he might have run to 5, but he could be pretty sure that when West doubled 5 West was prepared to double 5 as well. South's club spots are stronger than his diamond spots if that matters, and for all South knows North's clubs are longer than North's diamonds.

How do you like East's 3 opening?

West
A653
A72
K10
J1062
North
K
Q
AQJ854
AKQ73
East
J2
KJ10983
972
54
South
Q109874
654
63
98
W
N
E
S
3
P
4
4NT
P
5
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
Q
J
5
0
0
1
A
K
2
7
0
0
2
5
4
J
Q
3
1
2
6
10
Q
2
1
2
2
A
7
3
K
1
3
2
5

It is pretty rich with both vulnerable. The suit is good, but the rest of the hand is flat. It appears to make more sense to simply open with multi. However, the 3 opening was successful, as it drove N-S to the 5-level in their shorter fit. N-S might have stopped after a lower-level preempt.

At the other table, things went quite differently. East passed, and West opened a Precision 1. North overcalled 2, and nobody had anything else to say. East had no reason not to lead a diamond, and declarer quickly took 10 tricks.

It would be nice if partner always carded correctly, but occasionally partner will play a card which leaves some ambiguity. When this happens it is necessary to be realistic and work out which error partner is more likely to have made.

29 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top