None vulnerable

Play Bridge: Lead inhibiting bid

Tips and tricks for bridge players

The bidding: North has a balanced 16 points but does not open One No Trump because he has no rebid problem never having a need to rebid One Notrump. He can open One Spade and rebid Two Diamonds.

Promising a rebid, South responds Two Hearts showing at least 10 HCP’s and a five-card Heart suit. North can just bid 3NT with the unbid suits stopped because all he needs is nine points from partner for game. However he decides to bid Three Clubs in an attempt to stop the opponents from leading his shortest suit. He must have a stopper because partner will assume he has at least one.

South will bid Three No Trump because he has a Diamond stopper. If he did not have a Diamond stopper, he would have to rebid Hearts.

The Play: West sees through the charade and leads his fourth best Club. Declarer wins the Ace because he knows a four-card club suit will not defeat Three No Trump.  If West had KQJxx of clubs, he would have led the King. Therefore, East has Hx in clubs. The club suit becomes blocked because if East unblocks the honour, King in this case, South’s Ten will be a second stopper.

East plays the King under the Ace with the hope that South has only one remaining club honour and that it can be trapped. This is not the case because declarer has 109xx not 108xx.

Declarer will come to his hand on a high Heart and take the Spade finesse which loses to the Queen. East returns a club. West wins two Clubs and exits a Club and South wins the Ten. South now knows it is safe to take the Diamond finesse into East which wins.

Declarer will lose the Spade Queen and two Clubs making Three No Trump with an overtrick for +430.

Note: If declarer did not have 109xx of clubs and had to protect 108xx of clubs, East would be the danger hand, and declarer would cash the top two Spades and then run the Heart Ten through losing to West if the Spade Queen did not drop. One refuses to take a finesse if it goes into the danger hand. The contract would still be successful whenever East has Queen stiff or Queen doubleton or West has the Spade Queen and the Heart suit behaves like it does.

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