Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Run your long suit

The North American Bridge Championship just concluded in Washington DC. I didn't go, but when my friends returned, I got to hear all sorts of bridge deals. Heard at lunch: "You hold . . ." and "What do you bid with . . . ?"

This deal was from the Open Swiss Teams that was played on the last weekend. Two players had a bidding accident to arrive at 6NT on these cards:

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

West led the K. Do you see 12 tricks? I see 10 (three spades, five diamonds and one trick in each rounded suit). South had a pretty good idea that West had a stiff K (he opened the bidding), but that is still only three spade tricks.

What are you supposed to do? Run your long suit, of course. When South played diamonds, East discarded three spades. Now when declarer played the A, the king dropped. She led to the J, then advanced a club from the table. East played low, South won the A and cashed two spades (the 6 was good).

West was coming under pressure. He was afraid declarer had A K J. He had sniffed out that declarer had a singleton A, so he discarded the Q J to save his clubs.

Declarer exited with a club and East won her king, but had to lead a heart to dummy's good 10. That was 12 tricks: four spades, two hearts(!), five diamonds and one club.

Bridge is an easy game.

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