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Thinking Bridge: SL NABC 2nd 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 second hand of St Louis NABC 2013:


 Q 5 2
 A 7 6 4 3
 A 6
 9 6 4

 10 8 6 
 J 9
 Q J 9 8 4
 Q 10 5


 Q 10 8 5
 10 7 3 2
 8 7 3 2


 A K J 7 4 3
 K 2
 K 5
 A K J

Oeste Norte Este Sur
    Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass 7
The End      

Lead: Q

Bidding commentary:

As North, your 2 response is natural and positive. Some play a positive response guarantees two of the top three honors, a bit restrictive. Agreeing the trump suit at the three level (3) facilitates slam bidding. Also, two aces plus the queen of partner’s suit facing any sane 2 opening should be more than enough for slam. 4NT was Roman Key Card Blackwood (RKCB) and the 5 response shows two key cards (the four aces and the K are key cards) plus the Q. A 5 response also shows two keycards but denies the Q. As South, though you can only count 12 sure tricks, heart establishment plus at worst the club finesse make bidding a grand slam odds on.

Play commentary:

As South, in order to avoid the club finesse, you must try to set up at least one of dummy’s hearts for a club discard. When setting up a long suit in dummy, keep as many “late” entries to dummy as possible. Win the K and play the A and K. Notice that the A and the Q remain as late dummy entries. Next, cash the K and play a heart to the ace. Ruff a heart with the J in case South is out of hearts. He is! There is still one higher heart outstanding –you are counting the suit, right?. Not to worry, you have two dummy entries. Cross to the Q, drawing South’s last trump and ruff a heart. Don’t look now, but you have established dummy’s fifth heart for your 13th trick! Cross to the A and discard the J
on the long heart. Well done. When setting up a long suit, use trump entries before side suit entries (Q before A).


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