Bridge World Extra! Newsletter
Bridge World Extra! Newsletter

SWISS MATCH


This is the fourth board of a seven-board Swiss match.

West dealer
Both sides vulnerable

NORTH
S 5 3
H J 6 2
D K Q 6 5 4 2
C Q 7
SOUTH
S A K J
H Q 10 9 7 4
D --
C A K 6 5 2

SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
--Pass2 DPass
2 HPass3 HPass
4 HPassPassPass

Do you approve of partner's weak two-bid?

We don't. Not with those diamond spots and lack of playing strength, vulnerable. We suppose, though, that nowadays one must be grateful when partner's weak two-bid is based on a six-card suit.

Heart ace, deuce, eight, four.
Heart king, six, spade four, seven.
Heart three, jack, diamond three, ?

What line will you follow? Include contingency plans.

Solution below.

NORTH
S 5 3
H J 6 2
D K Q 6 5 4 2
C Q 7
WEST
S Q 9 6 2
H A K 5 3
D 10 8 7
C J 4
EAST
S 10 8 7 4
H 8
D A J 9 3
C 10 9 8 3
SOUTH
S A K J
H Q 10 9 7 4
D --
C A K 6 5 2

If clubs split, you have no worries. If not, you must do something with that jack of spades. Since West passed originally with the ace-king of hearts, East is more likely to have the ace of diamonds than the queen of spades. Therefore, your plan should be to win the jack of hearts in dummy at trick three, to lead the king of diamonds, intending to discard if East does not cover. (Probably you should discard a club, since this retains options later in the play. However, against some opponents this might stimulate a club shift, which would disrupt your entry position.)

Suppose East covers the king of diamonds. You ruff and draw the last trump, discarding a diamond from dummy. Now you are out of trumps, so you must watch your step. If clubs are four-two, so that a club trick must be lost, you don't want the opponents to have a winner to cash when they get the lead. Therefore, you should not go to dummy with the club queen to cash the diamond winner. This may set up a cashable winner for the opponent with the club stopper. Instead, take a safety play, giving up the chance of an overtrick to ensure the contract against a four-two club break. Duck a club immediately. Then, win the (say, spade) return, cross to the club queen, take your diamond trick pitching the jack of spades, return in spades, and run clubs.