North south vulnerable

Play Bridge: The lead set up for a cold Slam

Tips and tricks for bridge players new to experienced.

This is a hand that occurred on Monday afternoon at the Kootenay Jewel Bridge club. The club is finished for the summer and will resume the second Monday in September at the newly renovated Warfield Hall.

The bidding: South opens one heart with his seven card suit because it is far too strong to pre-empt. West overcalls two clubs, and North could cuebid to show heart support and 10+ points, but she wants to tell partner about her six diamonds. Even in competition, two diamonds is forcing and promises a rebid in addition to 10+ points. North knows they have at least a Golden eight-card fit in hearts so distribution is counted.

East jumps to five clubs, but it is too late because the opponents have exchanged enough information. South bids five diamonds and North corrects to five hearts. With a double fit and a void in opponent’s suit, South bids a slam. South could not use Blackwood with a void even if there had been room.

If South had a diamond void and King third of clubs instead of his actual holding, he would not have ventured higher than game.

The Lead: A lead through strength to weakness only works occasionally on the opening lead. It is actually a good play by the LHO of dummy to lead into dummy’s weak suit especially if it is also his weak suit. This finds partner’s strength positioned strategically behind the declarer.

On the opening lead, however, a blind lead of a side suit, bid and supported by the opponents, is very risky unless there is a ruff possibility.

To lead a singleton in opponents’ suit, one must have a trump entry and a way to get into partner’s hand to get a ruff. The opening leader could have length in opponents’ suit and try to give partner a ruff on the opening lead.

The lead of Queen from Queen Jack frozen in a suit bid and supported by the opponents is so terrible a lead that it is actually brilliant because declarer would never dream that the queen was not a singleton.

The play: Declarer won the Ace of diamonds, drew trump and finessed East for the Jack of diamonds going down in a cold slam.

Results: 6HS-1 for -100. Every other time it was played it was 4HS+2 for +680.

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