Duplicate Technique

Dealer: South
E-W vulnerable

S K Q 8 2
H A 8 6
D K J 9
C J 10 4
S 6 5 3
H J 9 4 2
D 10 6 3 2
C K 6
S 7
H Q 10 7 5
D Q 8 7
C A 9 8 7 2
S A J 10 9 4
H K 3
D A 5 4
C Q 5 3
1 SPass2 NTPass
3 SPass4 SAll Pass
Opening Lead: C K !

Many of my readers enjoy duplicate competition. Matchpoint duplicate is challenging; the strategies differ from rubber or party bridge.To improve their scores, duplicate players can try “Winning Duplicate Tactics” by David Bird, or “Matchpoints” by Kit Woolsey, a classic book recently updated. In today’s deal from “Matchpoints,” West leads the king of clubs against four spades. East wins the next club and gives West a club ruff, and West exits with a trump.


West’s remarkable lead has put South behind the eight ball. Other Wests will lead something else, and South can draw trumps and make an overtrick if a diamond finesse with the jack wins.

To get back to even, South must lead the jack of diamonds for a backward finesse. If East covers, South wins and returns a diamond to the nine. If West had the queen, South would go down, but he was slated for a matchpoint zero anyway.

For a book or product for your favorite partner’s holiday gift, see baronbarclay.com.


You hold:
HQ 10 7 5
DQ 8 7
CA 9 8 7 2
. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say?

This is my idea of a reasonable limit raise to three hearts: four-card trump support and good distribution but limited high-card strength. If partner has a good-looking minimum such as A J 5, A K 9 6 4, 5 2, Q 10 5, he will go on to game. The old-fashioned style of playing an immediate double-raise as forcing made this hand impossible to describe.

Copyright © 2015, Tribune Media Services

About the Author:

Frank Stewart is one of the world's most prolific bridge journalists. He won many tournament events before devoting himself to writing. Frank has published hundreds of magazine and on-line articles. He has written 24 books, among them "Becoming an Expert," "Play Bridge With Me," "Who Has the Queen?" and most recently "Keys to Winning Bridge." In 2014, Frank Stewart received the International Bridge Press Association's Alan Truscott Award. He has been the senior analyst for ACBL-wide Charity and International Fund events since 1980. Frank and his wife, Charlotte, a pediatric speech pathologist, live in Fayette AL. They have a 17-year-old daughter.

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