Yes, We’re Open

Dealer: South
Neither side vulnerable

S J 8 7 3
H 7
D Q J 10 9
C A Q 7 5
S 6 4
H Q J 10 4
D 8 7 6 4
C J 9 8
S 9 5
H A 9 8 3 2
D A K 2
C K 10 2
S A K Q 10 2
H K 6 5
D 5 3
C 6 4 3
1 SPass3 SPass
4 SAll Pass
Opening Lead: H Q

When I watched today’s deal in a penny game, Cy the Cynic was West. North-South got to four spades when North underbid (his three spades was invitational) and South overbid (he had no extra values).Cy led the queen of hearts, and East took the ace and led a trump. South drew trumps and led a diamond. East won and returned a heart. South led another diamond, setting up two club discards. Making four.


Cy and East then engaged in a debate:

“Lead a club at the second trick, hoping I have the jack,” the Cynic snapped. “We need a club trick before declarer uses the diamonds.”

“You need to keep an open mind,” East said.

“Some open minds should be closed for repairs,” Cy retorted.

Who was right?

Really, nobody. As the cards lay, East could win out by leading a club at Trick Two, but if South had only two hearts, six minor-suit cards and the jack of clubs, a club switch would be disastrous. Sometimes no “correct” defense exists, only a winning defense.


You hold:
S9 5
HA 9 8 3 2
DA K 2
CK 10 2
. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart and he rebids two diamonds. What do you say?

Six diamonds might be a fine contract if partner has exactly the right minimum hand. He might hold A 6 4, K 4, Q J 10 7 6 4, A 4. More likely, you should look for your best game, which might be 3NT. Bid three clubs. If partner bids 3NT, pass. If he does anything else, head for game or slam at diamonds.

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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