Norman Kay Alfred Sheinwold and Eddie Kantar

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 fifth hand of St Louis NABC 2013: Responding to 1NT with 4-3-3-3, deception, placing the cards


K J 8 5
4 3 2
9 3 2
A K 5

4 3
J 9 8 7 6
K J 5
10 8 7


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


A 10 9 6
K Q 5
A 8 7
Q J 3

West North East South
Pass 3NT The End  

Opening Lead: 7

Bidding commentary:

As North, it is generally not a good idea to use Stayman with a flat hand. In this case, even though you have missed a 4-4 spade fit, 3NT is a better contract because your hand and partner’s have the same distribution.

Defensive commentary:

A normal fourthhighest lead. East wins the A and returns the 10. As West, you can follow with the 6 to show a five-card suit or you can make an even stronger play, the J. This play informs partner that the jack is
your highest remaining equal informing partner that declarer has the Q.

Play commentary:

As South, win the K at trick two, higher equal for deceptive purposes. As it happens, you can even misguess the Q and take nine tricks, but if you were in 4, you would have to find the Q to make your contract. Also, if you are playing in a tournament where overtricks are the heart and soul of the game, finding the Q will give you a good score, perhaps a near top. There is a clue. West appears to have started with five hearts and eight “other” cards. East has two hearts and 11 other cards. Play the defender who has more “other” cards (East) for the missing queen.

Play commentary #2:

As South, if you want to further confirm your “other-card,” count, it can’t hurt to cash three rounds of clubs. As it happens, both follow to three rounds of clubs, so you don’t get any more information. Stick with plan A and play East for the Q.