Friday, March 20, 2015
Using the bidding as a guide to play and defense
Opening lead: 3
Bidding commentary: West has a perfect passed-hand takeout double: shortness in opener’s suit, 9-11 high-card points and four-card support for the unbid suits. As North, start bidding both suits rather than redoubling. It may be awkward to get both suits in beneath 3NT if you start with a redouble – particularly in competition. The 3 bid is invitational as North is a passed hand. Otherwise it would be forcing.
Play commentary: You need seven tricks in the minors and the opponents can take three spades and the A once they get in. Five club tricks are easy if West has the expected Q, and two diamond tricks are likely if East, the hand that is surely long in diamonds, has the jack. Play the J from dummy at trick one, your only chance to take two spade tricks. Win the first spade when East covers. You don’t relish a heart shift (it will set you). Besides, spades are surely 4-4, so why hold up?
At trick two, lead a club to the jack, retaining the K as a later hand entry, now a diamond to the 10 (the key play). If the 10 holds (or loses to the ace), you can drive out the A and have nine tricks.