Emerging with 3NT

Dealer: North
Both sides vulnerable

North
S A 8 3
H 5 2
D K Q 4
C A Q 9 8 5
West
S 9 6 5 4
H J 10 9 8 4
D 3
C 7 6 2
East
S Q J 10
H K 7 6 3
D A 10 9 8
C K 3
South
S K 7 2
H A Q
D J 7 6 5 2
C J 10 4
NorthEastSouthWest
1 CDblRedbl1 H
PassPass1 NTPass
3 NTAll Pass
Opening Lead: H J

There are emergencies, and then there are situations that reflect a lack of planning. People can get the two confused.At 3NT, South won the first heart with the ace and led a diamond to dummy’s king. East won and returned a heart, and declarer took his queen and led a second diamond. With a 3-2 break, he would have had nine easy tricks: four diamonds, two hearts, two spades and a club.

But when West discarded, South had an emergency on his hands. He took the queen, led a spade to his hand and returned the jack of clubs to finesse, but when East had the king, the defense emerged with three hearts, a diamond and a club for down one.


YOUR PLAY?

How would you play 3NT?South had a virtual sure thing. He leads a spade to the ace at Trick Two and returns the four of diamonds through East, whose double promised high-card values. If East takes the ace, South has nine tricks. If instead East plays low, South wins with the jack and switches to clubs to assure the contract.DAILY QUESTION

You hold:
SK 7 2
HA Q
DJ 7 6 5 2
CJ 10 4
. Your partner opens one club, and the next player overcalls one heart. What do you say?

ANSWER
The bidding has improved your 11-point hand. The positional value of your A-Q of hearts has gone up, and your other high cards may be supported by partner’s honors. You would insist on game with A 7 2, A K, J 7 6 5 2, J 10 4, and your actual hand is about as good. Bid at least 2NT. If vulnerable, to try 3NT would be reasonable.

 

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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