Both vulnerable

How a local bridge hand played out

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

Local Bridge: This hand happened at the Kootenay Jewel bridge club where one may find duplicate bridge every Monday at noon at the Warfield Hall.

The bidding: North, in third seat, has enough to open in any seat. He has twelve points. In first or second seat, North opens one club. In third seat, it is highly likely a lead direct bid will be useful. Therefore, North opens one heart, a four-card major. North expects South to bid as if it were a five-card suit.

East overcalls one spade, and partner raises to four hearts. West doubles, and North pulls the double to four notrump. Because of the double, four notrump is just to play. The opponents are doubling four hearts, so it is highly unlikely, North is thinking six.

South corrects to five clubs, and that where the contract plays.

The Lead: The jack of spades

The play: Declarer does not cover the jack of spades or the ten continuation. East wins the second trick with the queen of spades and cashes the ace. South ruffs with the ace of clubs and draws trump.

Declarer will lose two spades, two diamonds and a heart. The heart finesse works only once. The jack of hearts holds, but West covers the ten , and wins the nine of hearts.

Four notrump is actually the best place to play. The strong hand is on lead. On a spade lead, North will win one spade, three hearts and five clubs for down one. Down one is a good result compared with five clubs down three and four hearts down three doubled. South should have passed four notrump realizing the club suit will be a gem in notrump.

Result: Four hearts doubled down three for -800, Five clubs down three for -300 or four notrump down one for -100.

Notes: Sometimes, being down is fine. One just wants to be down less than everybody else at duplicate.

-All the bridge columns may be viewed at

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