BRIDGE TIPS: Dealer: East. Vulnerable: Both

//BRIDGE TIPS: Dealer: East. Vulnerable: Both
Bridge Tips by Eddie Kantar.
Dlr: East Vul: Both
Scoring: IMPs

North
S J 7 4
H K J 6 2
D A K Q 10
C 8 7
East (you)
S A K Q 8 5
H 3
D 8 4 2
C Q 9 3 2

EastSouthWestNorth
1S2HPass4H
All Pass

Opening lead: S3 You win the first spade and cash a second, partner playing the six, declarer the 10 and the 2. Now what?

Partner has the remaining spade that much is clear. Playing a third spade is playing a passive wait and see defense. This is the defense you should adopt when side suit tricks cannot get away. On this hand it is possible that club tricks might get away on dummy’s diamonds. Your best chance is to shift to a low club immediately hoping partner has either the AJ or at least the ace. If partner has the AJ, two club tricks can immediately be taken. However with the AJ of clubs and three spades, partner might have raised to 2S. With the CA without the jack and absolutely nothing else, he probably wouldn’t.

Back to the declarer. Say declarer has the KJ(x) of clubs. Which club will be play when you lead low? If you have won the first spade with the queen and then cashed the ace, declarer will assume you have 9 points in spades, and without the CA or the QJ, the most you could have would be the CQ and 11 HCP. He might well decide to play you for the CA and play the king. Down one. Had partner supported spades, declarer might well play West for the CA, because after all he does need something for the raise.

As an aside, had you won the first two tricks with the king and ace of spades, partner would still know you had the queen (5 card majors) but declarer might well play West for the SQ. If so, declarer is very likely to conclude that if West had the SQ and the CA as well, he probably would have raised to 2S. But West didn’t raise. Ergo, West does not have the CA. If declarer thinks along these lines, he will play you, not partner, for the CA and rise with the king. Curtains for the declarer.

Notice the lead of the S3 from the 963. Why not the nine? The reason is this:

When holding three (occasionally four) small in partner’s suit that you have NOT supported, lead low to deny a doubleton.
If you HAVE supported, lead high to deny an honor. Partner already knows you do not have a doubleton.
The lead of a low card in a supported suit promises an honor.

Dlr: East Vul: Both
Scoring: IMPs

North
S J 7 4
H K J 6 2
D A K Q 10
C 8 7
West
S 9 6 3
H 8 5
D 7 6 5 3
C A 6 5 4
East
S A K Q 8 5
H 3
D 8 4 2
C Q 9 3 2
South
S 10 2
H A Q 10 9 7 4
D J 9
C K J 10


EastSouthWestNorth
1S2HPass4H
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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