East West Vulnerable

East West Vulnerable

Play Bridge: Killing dummy’s entry

Warren Watson leads readers in an ongoing game of bridge.

The bidding: South has an ugly 15 points and opens one diamond in third seat. He does not open one notrump because of no intermediates, the wasted jacks and the frozen heart honors. Third seat minor openers are only light if the player holds a four-cardw spade suit. North bids his four-card heart suit. South then rebids one notrump denying four spades and showing 12 to 14 high card points.

North passes the bidding out because he only has four hearts and less than 10 points. He cannot introduce a club suit because the bidding would get too high. A new suit at the two-level shows 10 or more high card points and promises a rebid.

The Lead: East had a chance to make a one-spade overcall of one heart and did not. For that reason, West will not lead a spade. A diamond lead into declarer’s strength is less enticing and a club lead is not much better. The ace of clubs should not be cashed on the opening lead if not accompanied by the king. The best of bad leads is the nine of hearts.

The play: East wins the opening lead with the ace of hearts and puts the king of spades on the table. He has to remove the entry to the clubs and hearts. Declarer takes the ace of spades and plays his top hearts and then a club. West ducks and declarer wins the king of clubs and cashes the ten of hearts. He then plays another club and West takes his ace. He knows declarer has no more clubs and cannot get to the good clubs.

West cashes the queen of spades and exits a spade. Declarer wins his jack and cashes two diamonds. Declarer wins two spades, three hearts, two diamonds and one club making one overtrick. The defense have available three spades, one heart, one diamond and one club, but because of the timing can only get to five of these tricks before declarer gets eight tricks.

Result: One notrump plus one for +120


-If the defense does not attack spades, declarer will get one spade, three hearts, two diamonds and four clubs making ten tricks for +180. The defense will get one heart, and one club and a trick in diamonds or spades at the end.