Both vulnerable

Both vulnerable

Favourable placement of points

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

Local Bridge: You may find duplicate bridge at the Warfield Hall every Monday at noon, and in Trail, at the Trail United Church, Wednesday at noon and Thursday at 7 pm. This hand happened at the Trail Duplicate Bridge Club.

The bidding: South, with 16 points, is not balanced and cannot open one notrump. South opens one club.

Can one open 1NT with a singleton ace? The duplicate rules say one can if it makes good bridge sense. One may argue that opening one notrump with a singleton ace is not good bridge sense because the hand is more valuable in a trump suit. I think one notrump should not be opened with a singleton ace. It was not.

North replies one heart with six plus points, and East makes a vulnerable overcall of one spade. Ideally, East’s spades should be a little better, but getting into the auction with spades muddies the waters.

However, here, it did not have the desired effect. South can re-evaluate her hand to 18 points and jump to two notrump because of the two clear spade stoppers. The king swallows the queen and the two points with it, so the king and jack are effectively six points. North places the contract in three notrump.

Swallowing Points: This is a phrase I coined. The idea is not new, just the wording. Higher honours become as valuable as the honours they take. For example, if a queen is doubleton, whoever has the ace and king have an effective nine points, not the seven points one expects.

The Lead: Queen of Spades My partner made a vulnerable overcall so I felt obliged to lead the queen, top of a doubleton in partner’s suit. I should have led a diamond, and declarer never makes contract.

One has second thoughts about leading partner’s suit against three notrump when they hold a singleton, a doubleton queen or an ace third (Axx). The sequence in diamonds is only two cards so the best lead would have been a small diamond.

The play: Declarer, with the queen of spades led, has two spade stoppers and enough time to kick out the ace of clubs. With a diamond lead, she now needs transportation to lead spades twice towards her hand and transportation to cash the king of diamonds. Singleton aces are a hindrance to three notrump.

Declarer gets two spades, two hearts, two diamonds and four clubs for ten tricks. On a diamond lead, she will lose to the queen and ace of spades and diamonds will set up for the defense before she can set up her winners. She will lose two spades, no hearts, three diamonds and one club for down two.

Result: 3NT+1 for +630 (Queen of spades led) or 3NT-2 for -200 on a diamond lead.

Note: All the bridge columns may be viewed at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Early steals opened the door for Team Nichol in a victory over Team Small on Thursday at Kootenay Savings Super League curling. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Super League Curling: van Yzerloo-Fines match goes down to wire

Kootenay Savings Super League goes every Thursday night at the Trail Curling Club

Glacier Gymnastics head coach Sandra Long says she doesn’t understand why her sport is currently shut down while others are allowed to operate. Photo: Tyler Harper
‘It is bewildering’: Nelson sports leaders call out provincial shut down

Indoor group classes for activities such as gymnastics and dance are on hold

Quaid Anderson
Former Nitehawk makes himself at home with BCHL Bucks

Former Nitehawk Quaid Anderson is glad to return home to Cranbrook and chance to play in BCHL

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Photo:  Black Press Media
Greater Trail RCMP urge locals to stay off the roads

By noon there were four commercial tractor trailers stuck on hills in the Trail area

Seven Deers carved Shinning Raven Woman out of Labradorite harvested from the Canadian Shield. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Sculpture by Indigenous artist to be erected in Grand Forks

Civic leaders have rallied behind the project by Grand Forks’ David Seven Deers

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Most Read