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JUST BRIDGE...

 

DOUBLE DANGER

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish


 Playing standard "fourth-best" leads, West leads the
2 against your 3NT contract. East follows with the queen and returns the 4 after you follow low. You play the eight and West wins the jack to return the 9, East's six, and your ace.

 What is the distribution of the heart suit? Is there a so-called "dangerous opponent?" How many tricks do you need in the club suit? Plan your play.

Both vulnerable South deals

 

  A 5 4
10 7
J 10 9 5

A J 9 4

   
  10 9 8 3
A 8 5
A K Q

K 10 7

West North East South
      1NT
Pass 3NT End  

 

 Opening Lead: 2


 West's
2 is very revealing; if the lead was honest he can't have more than four hearts and may have only three. If the suit is four-four, neither opponent is threatening. If West has three hearts, however, his partner has five, so it may be fatal to allow East to gain the lead.

 With eight tricks on top, you need only one extra trick from the club suit. With a two-way finesse available in that suit and entries a bit of a problem, it is more convenient to play West for the queen. Indeed if four club tricks were needed for the contract, it would be best to do so. Here, however, you have the luxury of keeping the dangerous player off lead. When you attack clubs, play a club to the ace and a club to the ten.

 If West disappoints you by winning the
Q and returns a spade you will encounter danger of a different ilk, for the K is still in your hand, blocking the suit for you.

 But because you foresaw this possibility and cashed the
AKQ before playing clubs, you have an effective countermove. Win the A, discard the blocking K on the J, and cash the jack-nine of clubs for nine tricks.

 

The 4 hands were:

  A 5 4
10 7
J 10 9 5

A J 9 4

K J 7 6
J 9 2
8 3 2

Q 6 2

Q 2
K Q 6 4 3
7 6 4

8 5 3

  10 9 8 3
A 8 5
A K Q

K 10 7