By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bridge 5/21
With three trumps, take two steps
Placeholder Image
    Han Suyin, a Chinese author and physician who now lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, said, "There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness."
    When responder picks up a hand worth an opening bid and his partner opens in front of him, often responder starts gently on the first round, revealing his true strength only on the second round.
    That applies in this deal. When South opens one spade, North expects the final contract to be four spades. But he must adopt a two-step process, bidding his own suit first before supporting spades.
    North gently responds two clubs, then, over South's two-heart rebid, jumps to three spades to show exactly three-card spade support and at least game-forcing values. Now South launches Blackwood and bids seven spades over North's three-ace reply.
    West leads the diamond queen. How would you, South, plan the play?
    You have 12 top tricks: seven spades, three hearts, one diamond and one club. Your low heart is a potential loser. However, since there are only two hearts on the board, you should plan to ruff the heart four over there.
    After winning the first trick, take one round of trumps, because if the spades are breaking 2-1, you can draw them and claim. When West discards, though, cash the ace and king of hearts, then ruff the heart four with dummy's spade ace.
    What? You don't have the spade ace left on the board? You have been overruffed and gone down? Ah well, better luck next time!
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter