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Thinking Bridge: SL NABC 10th Day

Source: ACBL Bulletins

During each day of the NABC, Eddie Kantar, one of the best American bridge authors, explains one bridge hand, for players who want to improve their bridge.

This is the hand number 8 of St Louis NABC 2013: Responding to an overcall, reading the lead and third-hand play


8 6
9 4
8 5 4
K 9 8 7 6 3

Q J 10 9 7
A J 10 5
7 6
4 2


A K 4 3
Q J 10 3 2
Q J 10


5 3
K 8 7 6 3 2
A K 9
A 5

West North East South
1 Pass 4 The End

Lead: 9

Bidding commentary:

As West, you have a minimum for a one level overcall. As East, 16 support points (not counting the Q) facing a onelevel overcall “usually” produces game

Defensive commentary:

As South, decide what partner’s is leading from to determine what declarer has in the suit. The lead is a likely top of a doubleton. With 9 x x (x) in an unsupported suit, partner leads low. If partner has a doubleton, declarer has the A J 10 x. If you cover, declarer will eventually be able to discard two clubs from dummy on the J 10. If partner has the K, your cover costs a club trick, the setting trick! When partner’s lead shows no honor cards, dummy has a singleton honor, and you have a higher honor than dummy, cover if you can promote a second or third round trick for yourself. For example, cover holding the K J x x x or the K 10 x x x. If you can’t promote at least a third-round trick, play low.

Play commentary:

As West, If South covers the Q, blow him a kiss, draw trumps, and discard two clubs on the J and 10 of hearts. Instead
of losing two clubs, you lose only one and bag a miracle game.

Defensive commentary #2:

As North, give count (4 to show an odd number) when a diamond is played. As South, make sure you take four tricks
in the minors, assuming you have played low at trick one. Partner needs the K to defeat the contract and you know two diamonds are cashing. You know this because partner’s 4 shows an odd number of diamonds. It can’t be five because
declarer would be void in that case, so it must be three.


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