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Starring
Bridget O'Day
Djakov Spades


I LOST MY HEART KING
AT THE BRIDGE TABLE

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
  
  
  
  
West



East



As South, you are playing
in the first match of a sectional Swiss teams event.

Both sides are vulnerable. What is your opening bid?

 

 South
   7 5 3
   A K J 9 4
   A 10 5
   A 4

 

 
South
?
West
North
East
 

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
  
  
  
  
West



East



Bid 1NT. This descriptive opening avoids the rebid problems that arise after a 1 opening. You may land in notrump when hearts is better, but it's less likely to matter at IMPs.

 

 South
   7 5 3
   A K J 9 4
   A 10 5
   A 4

 

If you had only two spades, you would be reluctant to open 1NT. Partner might transfer to spades with five spades and three hearts, marooning you in the wrong spot.

Partner now raises to 2NT. What do you say?

South
1NT
?

West
Pass
North
2NT
East
Pass
 

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
   K Q 6
   5 2
   9 8 3 2
   K 7 5 3
West



East



Bid 3. Partner's failure to use Stayman increases the chance he has a doubleton spade, in which case 4could easily play better than 3NT.

Partner rebids 3NT, all pass and West leads the 2.

 

 South
   7 5 3
   A K J 9 4
   A 10 5
   A 4

 

Dummy's K holds the first trick, and you try a heart to the jack, losing to West's queen. West cashes the A and continues a spade to the queen, East following.

What do you do next?

South
1NT
3
Pass

West
Pass
Pass
Pass
North
2NT
3NT
East
Pass
Pass
 

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
  
   5
   9 8 3 2
   K 7 5 3 
West



East



Lead a diamond to the 10. Since you can afford to lose two more tricks, delay the crucial heart play for a while.

West wins the Q and cashes the 13th spade. You and dummy throw a diamond, East discards the 10. A low club shift goes to East's queen and your ace.

 

 South
  
   A K 9 4
   A 10 5
   A 4

 


When you cash the A, both opponents follow low. When you lead a club to the king, East plays the 9.

You can't postpone leading a second heart any longer. What do you do?

South
1NT
3
Pass

West
Pass
Pass
Pass
North
2NT
3NT
East
Pass
Pass
 

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
 
   5
   9
   7 5 3 
West



East



Lead a heart to the 9. Spades are known to be 4-3, and clubs were probably 4-3 also, judging from the defender's plays (with Q J 10 9, East would first have thrown the queen).


As for diamonds, West cleared the spades instead of leading a second low spade to keep communication - he indicates a sure entry, which can only be the K. See full deal next.

 

 South
  
   A K 9 4
  
   A

 


But with K Q J x or K Q x x, West might have led a diamond instead of a spade, so diamonds are probably 3-3. Hearts, therefore should be 2-4.

South
1NT
3
Pass

West
Pass
Pass
Pass
North
2NT
3NT
East
Pass
Pass
 

Dealer : South
Vulnerable: Both

 North
   K Q 6
   5 2
   9 8 3 2
   K 7 5 3
West
A 10 4 2
Q 7
K Q 4
J 8 6 2
East
J 9 8
10 8 6 3
J 7 6
Q 10 9

Other clues were available. For example, if East had three low hearts, he might have thrown a heart instead of a club from Q 10 9. With four diamonds, East surely would have pitched a diamond.

 

 South
   7 5 3
   A K J 9 4
   A 10 5
   A 4

 

 

South
1NT
3
Pass

West
Pass
Pass
Pass
North
2NT
3NT
East
Pass
Pass
 

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