Thinking Bridge: Seattle NABC 1st Day

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Think on a loser-on-loser play

Eddie Kantar 1
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Source: ACBL NABC Seattle 2011 Bulletins

Opening lead: A

Bidding Commentary: South has a near maximum, weak-two opening and North has a choice of responses. A raise to 4 is reasonable as is 2NT asking for more information. If North tries 2NT, South bids 3 showing a feature — the ace
or king. This might encourage North to bid 3NT, which happens to be cold.

Defensive Commentary: As East, give count in spades. After declarer has preempted or bid two suits and partner leads the ace, presumably from A–K and dummy has the queen, third hand gives count playing the 2 — the lowest from an odd number of cards. As West, it looks right to switch to a low club at trick two. Partner figures to have an honor or two in the suit given the fact that South has a weak hand. As East, play the K at trick two, the higher of unequal honors. If you had equal honors such as the Q–J, you would play your lower equal.

Play Commentary: As South, you start with nine top tricks: six hearts, the A and K and the Rather than pin your hopes on the diamond finesse, use the Q–J in dummy to develop your tenth trick. Win the A, draw trumps ending in
dummy and lead the Q, discarding a club. West wins the king, cashes the Q and leads a third club that you ruff. All that is left is to cross to dummy with a diamond and discard a diamond on the J. No diamond finesse is necessary. When dummy has the second- and third-ranking cards in a suit — the Q–J, (the ace has already been played) facing a void — think loser-on-loser play. Lead a spade equal and discard a loser. After the opponents take the trick, use the other equal to discard another loser. You gain a trick.

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