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Thinking Bridge: Phoenix NABC 9th Day

Source: NABC Phoenix ACBL Bulletins

Dealer West, Both Vul


A 4 3 2
J 3 2
Q 3
A 10 7 5

8 6
A K Q 6
J 10 9 5
J 9 2


K 7
8 5 4
7 6 4 2
K 8 4 3


Q J 10 9 5
10 9 7
A K 8
Q 6

West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1
Dbl 2NT Pass 3
All Pass  





Opening lead: Q (Queen from AKQ)

The bidding is normal. North shows a limit raise, keeping in mind that unsupported jacks and queens are frequently worthless, as is the Q in this hand.

Now the defense: East easily recognizes the lead being from the A-K-Q with the jack in dummy and gives count: the 4 playing standard, the 8 playing upside-down.

When West cashes a second heart, East gives suit preference for clubs. However, a stubborn West may be tempted to shift to the J after cashing the third heart.

Let’s take a look at either shift. If West shifts to a club, South is in trouble. South knows that West, a passed hand, started
with 9 high-card points in hearts, has the J for 10, and cannot have a side-suit king. The best South can do is duck the club and later play the Q to the ace, hoping the king falls. Not this time – down one.

However, if West shifts to a diamond, South wins the queen, cashes the A and K, discarding a club, and then leads the Q to the ace hoping to drop the king. No luck, but wait! South exits a spade to East, who wins and must lead a club from
the king or give South a ruff-sluff by leading a diamond. Making three!

Not too many pairs would defeat 3 on this layout against a strong declarer unless West shifts to a club at trick four.Eddie Kantar 1


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