Bridge: May 16, 2019

A reader wrote me about today’s deal. Playing at six hearts, he took the ace of spades, drew trumps, cashed three diamonds to pitch his last spade and ruffed dummy’s queen. Next, he took the A-K of clubs … and West discarded. Down one.

My reader neglected to mention the form of scoring. At IMPs South must safeguard the slam. After he takes one high club, he leads a low club. If East has Q-10-9-8, he’ll be end-played.

(Actually, South can draw trumps, pitch a spade on the diamonds, ruff the queen and cash the ace of clubs. He leads a trump to dummy and returns a club. When East follows, South plays low. But East might hold Q-x.)


At matchpoints South must try to make seven. The contract is “normal,” so South should cash the top clubs, hoping the queen will fall. (Some pairs may be at 6NT, but South can do nothing about that.)

Readers are welcome to email me at If asking about a specific deal, please include all the relevant conditions.


You hold: S 7 4 H A Q 10 8 3 D K Q C A K 6 4. You open one heart, and your partner responds one spade. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is a bad hand for “Standard” methods. A jump-shift to three clubs would force to game even if partner has a minimum six-point response. Bid two clubs and hope he scrapes up another bid so you can bid again to invite game. If he passes and you miss a decent game contract, blame your system.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable



H K J 9 5

D A J 5

C J 5 3 2


S J 9 6 5 3

H 7 4

D 8 6 4 3 2

C 7


S K 10 8 2

H 6 2

D 10 9 7

C Q 10 9 8


S 7 4

H A Q 10 8 3


C A K 6 4

South West North East

1 H Pass 2 NT Pass

3 H Pass 3 S Pass

4 C Pass 4 D Pass

6 H All Pass

Opening lead — S 5

(C)2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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