Bridge: Oct. 13, 2020

Here’s an easy play-or-defend problem. West leads the ten of hearts against four spades. (Pairs who use “transfer” responses to 1NT might bid four hearts as South, obliging North to bid four spades and become declarer.) Look at all four hands and decide whether you prefer to try to make the contract or try to beat it.

If East puts up the ace of hearts at the first trick, declarer is safe no matter what East does next. But suppose East visualizes a winning defense and plays low, letting declarer’s king win.

UNDERLEAD

If declarer leads a trump next, East wins and shifts to his singleton diamond. He wins the next trump, underleads in hearts to West’s nine and ruffs a diamond return. Down one.

Can declarer do anything about that? If he perceives what East is up to — and not every declarer would display such foresight — declarer can return a heart at Trick Two. He removes West’s entry before East can arrange for his diamond ruff.

Did you elect to be declarer?

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S Q 10 3 H 6 4 D A K J 8 4 C A Q 10. You open 1NT, and your partner jumps to three clubs. What do you say?

ANSWER: You will have to tell me; the answer depends on your partnership’s agreement. In old-fashioned “Standard,” partner’s jump is forcing, and you would bid three diamonds. Now, some pairs treat it as a weak sign-off (you would pass), as invitational to game (you would bid three diamonds), or as a “transfer” and a prelude to further bidding.

North dealer

  Word Game: Oct. 25, 2020

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 10 3

H 6 4

D A K J 8 4

C A Q 10

WEST

S 6

H 10 9 5

D 10 9 5 3 2

C 8 7 3 2

EAST

S A K 2

H A Q J 8 7 2

D 7

C 9 5 4

SOUTH

S J 9 8 7 5 4

H K 3

D Q 6

C K J 6

North East South West
1 NT 2 H 4 S All Pass

Opening lead — H 10

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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