Virtue of Patience

Dealer: South
E-W vulnerable

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

Cy the Cynic says that patience is the quality you rightly admire in the driver behind you but not in the one ahead of you.In today’s deal, North’s jump-raise to three spades was invitational to game, not forcing, but South had extra values and went on. West led the jack of hearts: queen, king. ace. South next took the A-K of trumps, then cashed three diamonds and led a fourth diamond from dummy.

East hit the gas when he ruffed with his queen of trumps and tried to cash a heart. South ruffed and conceded two clubs, making his contract. He could ruff dummy’s last heart with the last trump in his hand.


East displayed a fatal lack of patience when he ruffed the fourth diamond. He must discard, waiting to get in so he can draw two of declarer’s trumps.If dummy leads the queen of clubs next, East wins, cashes his high trump and forces South to ruff a heart with the only trump he has left. When West wins the next club, the defenders cash a heart. Down one.


You hold:
SA 9 4 3
HA 2
DA Q 4
CJ 10 7 3
. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two diamonds. What do you say?

I would be reluctant to bid 3NT with so many aces. Partner would have to pass with a mildly distributional hand such as 2, K Q 7 6 5, K J 8 6 5, A 2 when six diamonds would be a fine spot. Bid three clubs, giving partner a chance to make a further descriptive bid. If he bids 3NT, you’ll have to give up.

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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