Millard’s Semi-Cover

Dealer: North
Both sides vulnerable

S A 8
H A 7 2
D Q J 10 9 3
C A 7 3
S 5 3
H J 8 6 5 3
D K 6
C 9 8 6 5
S K Q 9 7 4
H 9 4
D A 8 5
C J 10 2
S J 10 6 2
H K Q 10
D 7 4 2
C K Q 4
North East South West
D S 2 NT Pass
3 NT All Pass
Opening Lead: S 5

Millard Pringle played at the club today. Millard is a quiet little man who loses his way in the maze of defensive “rules.”North-South got to 3NT after Millard overcalled in spades, and West led the five. Dummy played low, and Millard frowned, trying to sort out the rules he knew and apply the right one.

Millard knew about covering an honor with an honor, but the eight of spades wasn’t quite honorable. So instead of covering with an honor — breaking a rule — Millard covered with his nine.


South won with the ten and led a diamond, but West rose with the king and led his last spade to the ace. Since declarer had only eight winners, he had to lead another diamond, and Millard won and cashed the K-Q and seven of spades. Down one.The bidding marks South with a spade stopper, so East must place West with one entry. But East must keep communication by making South to take his second spade trick early. If East plays a spade honor at Trick One, South is safe.


You hold:
SJ 10 6 2
HK Q 10
D7 4 2
CK Q 4
. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade and he raises to two spades. What do you say?

Game is possible if partner has maximum high-card values or good distribution. He will often have four-card spade support but may have raised with three. Bid 2NT to suggest a balanced 11 points. If partner has K Q 3, 7 6, A J 10 5 3, A 3 2, he will bid 3NT. With A 9 7 5, 9 5 4, A K Q 5 3, 6, he will jump to four spades.

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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