Join Bridge Winners
You Never Know What Might Happen
(Page of 13)

In a round-robin match in the Open Trials, you have to decide whether or not to get into the auction with a marginal hand.

E-W vul, East deals. As South, you hold:

South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
?

2 would be Multi.

2NT would show both minors, less than an opening bid. This would normally be a 5-5 hand, but liberties can be taken.

Your call?

South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
?

You aren't worth an opening bid. 2NT is tempting. The vulnerability is right for this sort of frisky action. The big drawback is that you are in second seat, which is the worst seat for a speculative preempt. The opponents have exchanged information, and your partner is as likely to hold the big hand as your West is. It doesn't look like a good bet.

You pass. and the bidding continues:

W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
?

Your call?

South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
?

It might not look like there is much in favor of overcalling. You will be on lead against notrump. You have club length, so an overcall isn't likely to be shutting out a 2 call by opener. The hand could be a big misfit, and you could be going for a number.

On the other hand, there are good things which could happen. The opponents might wind up in a major suit, in which case you would prefer a diamond lead. If partner has some diamond support, he might be able to push the opponents to the 3-level where you have a shot at a plus score. In addition, you might hit a big fit which will allow him to take a good save. You never know what good things might happen when you bid your hand.

You overcall 2. The bidding concludes:

W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

West leads the 3. Third and fifth leads.

North
K964
K1063
K10864
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

You ruff in dummy, East playing the 9. How do you start?

North
K964
K1063
K1086
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

You have no choice but to cross to your hand to lead up to one of the major-suit kings. You don't want to draw more trumps than necessary, since every club you can ruff in dummy is a trick. It is clear to lead a small trump to your hand.

You led a low trump from dummy. East plays the 2. What do you play?

North
K964
K1063
K1086
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

While there is a good chance that the diamonds are 3-0, there is no need to finesse. You are hoping to play on crossruff lines. If all goes will you will ruff all your clubs in dummy. By the time you are ruffing the last club with the king of diamonds, you will have taken at least two ruffs in your hand. Thus, you will always be able to finish with a trump coup if not a high crossruff.

It probably doesn't make much difference whether you win the ace or the queen. However, it is better technique to win the queen. If you win the ace that will mark the queen in your hand, since without the queen you wouldn't be playing the suit this way. However, you might have QJxxx. Thus, winning the queen keeps West more in the dark.

You choose to win the ace of diamonds. West discards the 2. What do you do next?

North
K964
K1063
K108
South
52
J7
Q973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

You have only one way to play the spade suit, while you have a choice in the heart suit. It is often right to delay playing the suit in which you have the choice as long as you can. Here, however, it is better to play hearts first. There really is no guess. The opening lead indicates that West is missing the ace of clubs, and the bidding would make no sense if he doesn't have the ace of hearts.

There are reasons for playing hearts first. West definitely doesn't have 4 hearts, since if he did he would have bid 2 instead of 3. If West has AQx of hearts you can establish the 10, and that will be your eleventh trick. Also, if you play hearts first you can prevent East from getting in with the queen of hearts to play a second trump. You can lead a heart to the king and a heart off. If East goes up queen his partner's ace will ruff out on the next round and your 10 will be good.

You might as well lead a small heart. You aren't planning on finessing for the queen, since if West has the queen it will be coming down anyway.

You choose to lead a spade. West wins the ace, East playing the 10. West now plays the heart ace and then 9. Do you win or finesse?

North
K96
K106
K108
South
5
J
Q973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

Of course you don't take the finesse. If West has the queen, it will come down on the next round of hearts. Furthermore you may no longer need it, since you have the potential to score all your trumps separately.

You win the king of hearts. What now?

North
K96
106
K108
South
5
Q973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

You will be playing a crossruff. It is thematic to cash all side tricks before crossruffing, in case an opponent gets to discard before you can cash the trick. Here, however, it is better to take a heart ruff first. It is possible that West started with AQ9 of hearts. If so, you can ruff a club to dummy, cash the 10 discarding your other spade, and put the king of spades through. This will let you make even if the spades are 6-1. If the queen of hearts doesn't come down you can then try cashing the king of spades. East will not have had a chance to discard a spade yet. Of course it will be important to cash the king of spades before ruffing all your clubs in dummy, since if East started with 3 clubs he would be able to discard a spade on the fourth round of clubs.

You choose to cash the king of spades. It lives. What next?

North
96
106
K108
South
Q973
Q87
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

It is crossruff time. Naturally you will try the heart ruff first, both because the queen might come down and so East can't discard a club.

You ruff a heart in your hand. West discards a spade. You ruff a club in dummy, West playing the 4 and East the 10. Now what?

North
96
10
K10
South
Q97
Q8
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

It is important to ruff the heart, not the spade. If you ruff a spade East will discard his ace of clubs, and he will then be in position to overruff dummy on the third round of clubs.

You ruff a heart in your hand and ruff a club in dummy. Nothing bad happens. You lead a spade off dummy, and East cannot prevent you from scoring your trumps separately for 11 tricks. The full hand is:

West
AQ873
A9
KJ6432
North
K964
K1063
K10864
East
J10
Q8542
J52
A109
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
4
9
5
1
1
0
6
2
A
2
3
2
0
2
A
4
10
0
2
1
A
3
2
7
0
2
2
9
K
4
J
1
3
2
K
J
5
3
1
4
2
6
8
3
4
3
5
2
7
6
8
10
1
6
2
10
Q
7
7
3
7
2
8
J
10
A
1
8
2
6
11

How was the defense?

West
AQ873
A9
KJ6432
North
K964
K1063
K10864
East
J10
Q8542
J52
A109
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
4
9
5
1
1
0
6
2
A
2
3
2
0
2
A
4
10
0
2
1
A
3
2
7
0
2
2
9
K
4
J
1
3
2
K
J
5
3
1
4
2
6
8
3
4
3
5
2
7
6
8
10
1
6
2
10
Q
7
7
3
7
2
8
J
10
A
1
8
2
6
11

It wasn't very good. All West had to do was duck the spade, let his partner win the second round of spades, and lead a second round of diamonds to defeat the contract. This shouldn't have been a difficult play. For starters East didn't raise spades, so declarer isn't likely to have a singleton. Even if declarer does have a singleton, ducking the spade won't cost anything. Declarer will score the king of spades whether West ducks or not. Since the defense can't take three quick tricks, there is no rush to take the spade trick. Declarer will have to get his tricks from crossruffing in any event, and the defense will get whatever is left over.

How was the E-W bidding?

West
AQ873
A9
KJ6432
North
K964
K1063
K10864
East
J10
Q8542
J52
A109
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
4
9
5
1
1
0
6
2
A
2
3
2
0
2
A
4
10
0
2
1
A
3
2
7
0
2
2
9
K
4
J
1
3
2
K
J
5
3
1
4
2
6
8
3
4
3
5
2
7
6
8
10
1
6
2
10
Q
7
7
3
7
2
8
J
10
A
1
8
2
6
11

The opening 1 bid is a matter of style. Many pairs are placing opening a 5-card major ahead of a 6-card minor, since major suits are where the games are.

West's final double looks optimistic. He has no reason to think that his side has a game, and East could have doubled if there were good defensive prospects. The contract might be going down a trick, but it doesn't figure to go down more than one trick.

How about North's 5 call?

West
AQ873
A9
KJ6432
North
K964
K1063
K10864
East
J10
Q8542
J52
A109
South
52
J7
AQ973
Q875
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
2
3
5
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
5X South
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
4
9
5
1
1
0
6
2
A
2
3
2
0
2
A
4
10
0
2
1
A
3
2
7
0
2
2
9
K
4
J
1
3
2
K
J
5
3
1
4
2
6
8
3
4
3
5
2
7
6
8
10
1
6
2
10
Q
7
7
3
7
2
8
J
10
A
1
8
2
6
11

North has no idea who can make what. Opposite the right mesh and/or some luck, 5 might make. If not, the opponents might have a game in any other strain. This type of call simply has more to gain than to lose.

It's a bidder's game. Many players wouldn't overcall on the South hand. The actual result is an illustration of one of the good things which might happen when you bid instead of pass.

20 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top