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The Independent Culture
WHAT WOULD be your choice of opening bid with this South hand? With only 11 high card points, you may argue that the hand is not strong enough for a reverse. In that case, if you open !1, you will have to rebid the suit and the spade suit could easily be lost. Or, to show both suits, you could open 41, as did South. (I would always open !1 and reverse on the next round, planning to bid spades again and show 5-6 in the majors. Never mind the point count - feel the playing strength!)

So, what happened after the prepared opening bid of 41? Exactly what you might expect - the partnership now ended in 44 not !4 (which would have offered an easy 11 tricks). West led 2J against the spade game and, after winning with dummy's ace, declarer discarded his losing club on #A.

Next came a heart finesse, losing to West's king, and declarer was forced to ruff the next club lead. He could see that, if he lost to 4K and was shortened in trumps again, the hand would collapse against the (likely) 4-2 spade break. However, trumps had to be tackled so he led 44 from hand. Hoping that his partner held the 10 or even the queen, West played low, and dummy's jack won.

Now declarer was in control of the hand. He cashed the ace of trumps and simply played on hearts, allowing West to take his two trump tricks when he liked. West, of course, had missed his opportunity. If he had gone in with his king on the first round of trumps and continued a forcing defence, declarer (short of trumps) would have had to fail.

Game all; dealer South


4J 9

!Q 10

#A 6 5 4 2

2A Q 4 3

West East

4K 6 5 3 48 7

!K 7 2 !5 4

#K 10 9 #Q J 8 7 3

2J 10 9 2K 8 5 2


4A Q 10 4 2

!A J 9 8 6 3


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