August 2017 English Bridge
four spades - unlikely). Even though they have not
actually bid spades yet, you can do a Law
calculation: there are 16 trumps, therefore 16 tricks,
therefore you should bid 3™ over 2´. You may as
well do that now. Bid 3™. This will have the effect of
feigning three cards in hearts. East (holding four
spades) may then think, 'Aha, they have nine hearts,
while we have eight spades. It's a 17-trick deal'. He'll
bid 3´ and 'break the Law'.
Feigning more cards than you have, to cause an
opponent to break the Law, is a common expert
ploy. If you're in need of a good result, try jumping
to 4™ on Auction B, trying to 'bounce' East into 4´.
East, who has not shown his spade support, may
stretch to 4´, thinking your side have ten hearts, so
that the total number of tricks is much higher than
it really is. Would you then double his 4´? I don't
think so. If East stretched to bid 4´ (and 4´ goes
down), you've earned yourself a great result,
whether doubled or undoubled. If East was always
planning to bid 4´ (whether you bounced him or
not), you have turned a normal result into a horrid
one (when 4´ doubled makes).
The bounce is not for the faint-hearted. Often,
the opponents will look bored and pass or, worse,
double. You will table your entirely inadequate
dummy to silent guffaws from the opponents and a
(barely hidden) wince from partner.
One layout proves little but look at this deal
featuring Auction B.
West's 2´ would make easily, winning five spades
plus three aces, although careful defence would
defeat 3´. The Law suggests that if spades makes
eight tricks, so does hearts. 3™ down one would be
a decent result, to stop West making his 2´.
However, as so often, it's easier to declare than
On a spade (or heart) lead, careful defence would
defeat 3™. Not unreasonably, West began with tA
and a second diamond. Winning the tK, declarer
led the ®Q. West ducked, and won the ®6 with the
®A. At trick five, West switched to the ´6. Declarer
rose with dummy's ´A (as he had to), then led back
The defence had no good option. If, after winning
the spade, they led the ™A and another to prevent
the spade ruff, declarer could win dummy's ™J and
cash tQ, discarding ´10. In practice, East won the
´Q and led a third diamond. Declarer ruffed high
and ruffed the ´10 with the ™J. East overruffed and
led a fourth diamond. Declarer ruffed high and
cashed his two last high hearts, pleased to see the
four remaining hearts split 2-2. Nine tricks made.
Tip: Use the Law of Total Tricks, particularly
at the three-level battleground. r
Love All. Dealer South.
´ A 3
™ J 4
t Q 5 3
® K J 5 4 3 2
´ K J 8 6 5 2 ´ Q 4
™ 7 2 ™ A 8 6
t A 10 t J 9 7 6 4 2
® A 9 7 ® 10 8
´ 10 9 7
™ K Q 10 9 5 3
t K 8
® Q 6
West North East South
1 16 trumps, therefore sixteen tricks. Either
2´ or 3™ must make.
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