By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 1/17
Both sides make textbook plays
Placeholder Image
    John Hope Franklin, a professor of history at Duke University, said, "We must get beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths ... and tell the world the glories of our journey."
    This deal features two textbook plays, one by a defender and one by declarer. What are they? South is in four spades, and West leads the club ace.
    Note North's two-no-trump response over West's takeout double. Since North would redouble with a strong balanced hand, two no-trump is used to show (at least) a game-invitational raise in spades with four or more trumps.
    Then, perhaps East should risk bidding three hearts because he has such promising distribution. But the vulnerability is unfavorable; and five hearts doubled or five clubs doubled costs 500, more than the value of the North-South game.
    First, at trick one, East should play his club queen. This says that he has either the jack behind the queen or, much less likely, a singleton queen. West now knows that he may underlead his club king at trick two, and East will take the trick with his jack (or by ruffing). And that is exactly what West should do here, putting East on lead for a heart shift through South's ace-queen.
    Now we turn to declarer. At first glance, his contract depends on winning one red-suit finesse. Upon closer examination, though, South should see that he can guarantee 10 tricks. He wins with his heart ace, draws trumps, and exits with his remaining heart. Whoever wins the trick must either lead a diamond, finding the queen, or concede a ruff-and-sluff.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter