Hand of the day #24

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

In this deal from a multiple teams event, North correctly raised two no-trump to three, on the basis that his side might have the power for game; but even if they did not, his five-card club suit might come good.

Opening Lead: J

It could also be argued that no-trump was unlikely to make eight tricks exactly, since the defense would probably hinge on whether they could set up East’s six-card suit or not, or prevent declarer from establishing the clubs.

When West led the heart jack, East made the natural move of encouraging the lead at every table. Declarer ducked to cut the defensive link, then won the second heart, crossed to the spade king, and ran the club queen. He later entered dummy in clubs to finesse the diamond 10, knowing that if East had the ace he was doomed anyway since that player would get in and run the hearts. Nine tricks was the result: three spades, a heart, a diamond and four clubs.

That is all well and good, but the defense missed a chance. If they switch to diamonds at trick two, setting up three tricks in that suit before the clubs are established, they set the game. This is too tough to find for West, but East, knowing he has no side entry to his long hearts, may deem it likely that declarer will have enough tricks coming in the black suits on passive defense. In that case, he could direct the defense by overtaking the heart jack at trick one then shifting to a small diamond. Easier said than done, I admit.


Bid with the Aces

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