BRIDGE TIPS: Dealer: West, Vulnerable: East-West

//BRIDGE TIPS: Dealer: West, Vulnerable: East-West
Bridge tips by Eddie Kantar.
Dlr: West Vul: East-West
Scoring: MPs

North
S 5 4 3
H J 9 4
D J 4 2
C 6 4 3 2
South
S A K Q J 10 2
H A Q 10 2
D 10 3
C K

WestNorthEastSouth
1DPass1H4S
All Pass

Opening lead: DQ (Q from AKQ asking for count) commercial

West continues with the king and ace of diamonds, East following up the line with the 5, 7, and 9. Plan the play.

You have to make two good plays to make this hand. (1) You must not ruff the third diamond with the S2. That card can get you to dummy if their spades are 2-2.
(2)If you are lucky enough to find spades 2-2 making your S5 a dummy entry, once you get to dummy, you must be careful to lead the H.9, not the jack. Why?

Say East has Kxxx(x) of hearts and you lead the jack. If East does not cover, the next time you lead a heart you will wind up in your hand and won’t be able to repeat the heart finesse a third time. You will lose a heart trick and your contract losing two diamonds a heart and a club.

Now let’s see what happens if you start with the nine. After the nine holds, play the jack, underplaying with the ten, keeping the lead on the table. Finally you will lead partner’s remaining heart to your queen picking up the suit for no losers. Did you make two expert plays?

If you decide you want to try leading the queen from the AKQ at suit contracts, be advised that most of the time partner can tell the difference between the queen from being from the AKQ as opposed to it being from a QJ combination.

How can partner tell? If the jack (king or ace) appears in dummy or if third hand is looking at it, it is pretty safe to assume the lead is from the AKQ. Furthermore, third hand is required to give count with the first card, suit preference with the second. In this case East’s first play would be the 5, count, the second, the 7, suit preference fo clubs. Had the second card been the 9, that would be suit preference for hearts.

Also, the bidding enters into this. If partner has shown a strong hand and leads the queen, chances are if the jack is not visibile it is from the AKQ. Also, if the queen is led and no honors are visible, third hand must consider if declarer can have the AK from the bidding and not bid notrump, etc. A player of your magnitude can work it out.

Another advantage of leading the Q from the AKQ is that if you lead an ace (ace from ace-king) partner knows you cannot have the AKQ. End of commercial.

Dlr: West Vul: East-West
Scoring: MPs
North
S 5 4 3
H J 9 4
D J 4 2
C 6 4 3 2
West
S 9 7
H 8 7
D A K Q 8 6
C A 8 7 5
East
S 8 6
H K 6 5 3
D 9 7 5
C Q J 10 9
South
S A K Q J 10 2
H A Q 10 2
D 10 3
C K


WestNorthEastSouth
1DPass1H4S
All Pass

 

About the Author:

Eddie Kantar is a professional bridge player, writer, teacher and member of the Bridge Hall of Fame. He won two World Champion and thirteen North American Championship titles. Eddie writes regularly for numerous bridge magazines around the world and is a frequent host on bridge cruises. He has written some 25 bridge books, some available in CD-Rom form, and is also a regular contributor to the ACBL Bulletin, Bridge World, Bridge Today, and OKbridge.

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