Thinking Bridge: SL NABC 8th 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: Extra chances in the play, preemptive bidding,
safe exit cards.


7 6 3
Q 10 8
A Q 3 2

10 9 8
3 2
10 8 7 6 5
10 8 4


A K Q 2
K J 9
K 9 7 6 5


J 5 4
A K J 9 7 6 4
3 2

West North East South
Pass 4 Double The End

Opening Lead: 10

Bidding commentary:

As South, you have a maximum vulnerable preempt. As North, you have to decide between responding 3NT, gambling on the spade position, or raising to 4, exposing your A-Q combinations to an immediate attack from West. As it happens, the opponents can run only four spades, so 3NT would have been okay. As East, you have too much not to act over 4. Your double is for takeout. As West, even though partner’s double is for takeout, with a weak balanced hand, take your chances and pass.

Defensive commentary:

As East, cash three spades and exit safely with a heart

Play commentary:

As South, after East exits with a trump, it appears that you have to guess which minor-suit finesse to take, fearing from the bidding that neither is going to work. However, you have an extra chance. Play the A and ruff a diamond. Return to
dummy with a trump and ruff another diamond. If the K appears (it does!), there is no need to take the club finesse. You can discard a club on the Q. If the K does not make a royal appearance, take the club finesse, but don’t hold your breath. When missing two kings and having to decide which finesse to take, check to see if one of the suits includes a singleton (diamonds). If it does, try to ruff out the king of that suit. If that doesn’t work, take the finesse in the other suit (clubs).