December 2016 English Bridge
Partner plays the t8.
8 What does that tell you?
Answer: Playing natural count, if the t8 is not a
singleton or not from Q-8 doubleton, partner is
about to play high-low in diamonds to show you an
even number of diamonds, either two diamonds or
9 Which is more likely?
Answer: If partner has four diamonds, declarer
would have only one, the tK singleton. This is
impossible given the lack of a 4-card major in
South's hand. With a tK singleton declarer would
have six clubs, leaving partner with none - but
partner did follow. So partner holds two diamonds.
10 And so?
Answer: Declarer began with three diamonds.
11 If South continues with a low diamond, what
should you do?
Answer: Play low, just in case East did begin with
12 In practice South continues with the tQ. Do
you take this or duck?
Answer: You should play low again. If declarer
began with four diamonds, you cannot prevent
declarer reaching dummy eventually. If declarer
began with three diamonds and you take the tA,
declarer will collect four diamond tricks. By holding
off with the tA, you might prevent declarer from
using dummy's diamonds and restrict declarer to
two diamond tricks.
13 You duck the tQ and East plays the t6. Was
there another benefit for holding back the tA?
Answer: If declarer plays a third diamond,
partner will make a discard and that might help you
to decide what to do next.
14 South plays the t7-tA-t9-´2 from East? What
does the ´2 tell you?
Answer: Playing standard signals, highencourage,
low-discourage, the ´2 denies interest in
15 What do you do next?
Answer: Since you know South is very strong in
clubs and partner has denied interest in spades, the
only suit left is hearts.
16 Which heart do you play?
Answer: With a doubleton, it is normal to lead the
top card. There is no reason here to depart from
that and so you should switch to the ™A, followed
by the ™2.
Here is the complete deal:
Love All. Dealer East.
´ Q J 9
™ 6 5 4 3
t J 10 9 5 4
´ 6 5 ´ 8 7 4 3 2
™ A 2 ™ K Q 8 7
t A 3 2 t 8 6
® J 8 6 4 3 2 ® 10 7
´ A K 10
™ J 10 9
t K Q 7
® A K Q 9
After you play ™A and the ™2, the defence takes
four heart tricks and the tA to beat 3NT. Notice
that if you continue clubs after taking the tA,
South will make eleven tricks. If you switch to a
spade after taking the tA, South will make ten
If East-West are using different discarding
methods, East can still indicate a desire for hearts. If
you play high-hate, low-like, East would discard the
´8, no interest in spades. If you play suit-preference
discards, East would also throw the ´8: do not want
spades and do want the higher of the other two
Answers to crossword on page 32
15 16 17
43 5 7 8
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