The First Rule

Dealer: East
E-W vulnerable

S K 5 4
H K 7 6 2
D K J 10 7
C K 2
S J 7
H J 3
D 8 6 4 3
C J 9 7 5 4
S Q 10 9
H A Q 9 8 5 4
D 5
C A 10 6
S A 8 6 3 2
H 10
D A Q 9 2
C Q 8 3
1 H1 SPass2 NT
Pass3 DPass3 S
Pass4 SAll Pass
Opening Lead: H J

“My wife and I have been together for 35 years,” a club player told me, “and I’ve learned the first rule of marriage: ‘If your wife isn’t talking, don’t interrupt.'”My friend was declarer at today’s four spades. He ruffed the second heart, cashed the top trumps and ran the diamonds. East refused to ruff. When South next led a club to dummy’s king, East took the ace and cashed his high trump, and South lost another club at the end.


“My wife didn’t say anything,” South said, “but I broke the rule and observed that the contract was unmakable. If I led a club early, East could win and lead a third heart, promoting a second trump trick for the defense. That was a mistake: My wife informed me that four spades was cold.”After South takes the A-K of trumps, he leads dummy’s deuce of clubs. East must play low, and the queen wins. South then gets to dummy with high diamonds to ruff two more hearts and continues diamonds. He is sure of 10 tricks no matter what East does.(As South actually played, he could succeed if he’d won the fourth diamond in dummy.)DAILY QUESTION

You hold:
SQ 10 9
HA Q 9 8 5 4
CA 10 6
. You open one heart, and your partner responds one spade. What do you say?

A rebid of two hearts would promise a six-card suit and minimum values. My choice would be a raise to two spades. If partner next bid 2NT or three of a minor suit, I would bid three hearts to suggest a minimum with long hearts and only three-card spade support.

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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