THE ASES ON BRIDGE
“Into a limbo large and broad, since called
The Paradise of fools, to few unknown.”
— John Milton
In today’s deal, South should know that his partner’s double followed by a three-no-trump re-bid suggests something like a two no-trump opening. South’s hand would be worthless at no-trump, but he will make more tricks at hearts than North can make at no-trump. South therefore corrects three no-trump to four hearts, and North should be happy to trust his partner and pass.
When the dummy appears, South notes that he has four possible losers: a trump, a diamond and two clubs. Some way must be found to eliminate one of those losing tricks, but clubs appear to be 7-0 with the ace onside, so declarer ought to be able to lead up to the club king after drawing trumps.
Declarer begins by winning the spade king and starting to draw trumps, whereupon East takes the heart ace. Much to South’s irritation, East is able to shift to the club jack, which goes to his partner’s ace.
Don’t delude yourself that all is well: East surely has a singleton club and is hoping to ruff the second round of the suit. What can declarer do about that?
Once the problem has been diagnosed, the correct riposte may be found. South must withhold dummy’s club king on both the second and third round of the suit. He must play low from dummy each time and ruff the third club in his hand. He then finishes drawing trumps, and only now can the club king be taken in perfect safety, to allow South to dispose of his losing diamond.
ANSWER: Despite your singleton, you must rebid three no-trump here. To bid a second suit, you should have at least minimal slam interest; make one of your low diamonds the queen, and you would have enough for that action. Here, you should try to get partner to pick between spades and no-trump.
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Copyright 2018, Distributed by Andrews McMeel for UFS