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Bridge 3/29

What do you do with game values?

Yesterday, I highlighted the Jacoby Forcing Raise, when responder bids two no-trump in answer to a one-heart or one-spade opening to show game-going values with at least four-card support for opener's major. But it is complicated, with unusual rebids by opener. If you prefer something simpler, respond three no-trump. The drawback is that partner might pass, forgetting this is artificial with support for his major. Introduce a rule that the forgetful partner pays the other an agreed sum of money. This three-no-trump response is forcing. With no slam interest, the opener rebids four of his major. With slam interest, he does anything else.
    In this deal, West guesses well to lead the heart nine against four spades. What should South do?
    The key play occurs at trick one. From the top-of-nothing lead of the nine, South should realize that East has the ace and jack of hearts. Then, declarer can neutralize the suit by playing dummy's queen.
    East takes his ace, but cannot return a heart without conceding a trick. South wins East's diamond-queen shift in his hand with the ace, draws two rounds of trumps, and dislodges the club ace. This establishes a discard for declarer's heart loser.
    Note that if South tries dummy's heart 10 at trick one, he should go down. East covers with his jack, forcing out declarer's king. South takes the two top trumps, then knocks out the club ace. West, on lead, cashes the spade queen and returns the heart eight, giving the defense one spade, two hearts and one club.

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