Jan 132003

Both Vul
Dealer: North
Lead: S6

S K 7 4 2
H Q 8
D 10 5 2
C 8 7 3 2
S 9
H J 2
D K J 8 7 6 4
C J 10 9 4
[W - E] bania
S A Q J 8 3
H 10 9 7 6 4
D 3
C A 6
S 10 6 5
H A K 5 3
D A Q 9
C K Q 5

2 D

1 S
2 H


We begin with two questions. Assuming you have no dummy entries,

1. How do you play 9 opposite AQJ83 for no losers?

2. How do you play J2 opposite 109764 for two losers?

Answers below; first there is bidding to consider. No one could object to Gee’s first double, with 18 points and at least three-card support in all the unbid suits. West’s 2D is a weak bid, showing length, since he has redouble available to show a good hand. East makes the obvious rebid of 2H, putting matters back in Gee’s hands.

Four likely defensive tricks, spade and diamond honors favorably placed for the opponents, broke partner: double of course. How else is partner going to know you have 18 points? North, having been advised that Gee has 18 points, passes, not that he has any choice, and once again it is up to the maestro to lead.

Since North shows up with two defensive tricks after promising nothing, 2H, remarkably, should go down — one on best play, two if declarer misguesses spades, which is likely. The STCP™ might think to lead a trump to cut down on spade ruffs, but Gee has a better idea: he opens the six of spades! North covers the board’s 9 with the king. This is not the world’s best defensive play but perhaps he can plead deep shock. Declarer wins the spade ace and promptly leads his low diamond.

Gee goes up with the diamond ace and decides the time has come to kill the spade ruffs. He plays the trump ace, following with the trump king, in case a third round of trump should prove necessary; you can’t be too careful about these things. Bad luck: this squashes his partner’s natural trump trick.

Now Gee shifts back to spades, relieving declarer of the obligation to drop the 10. Declarer pulls the rest of the trump and scores the doubled uptrick, giving up a club at the end. On the bright side, the diamond king never scores, there are no spade ruffs, and East/West were apparently unfamiliar with the Bones Redouble.

Answer Key

1. Put Gee on lead.

2. Put Gee on lead.

  One Response to “Suit Combinations”


    Being a STCP myself, I must wonder at the opening lead of this hand. Surely the expert mind works in ways I will never understand.

    A low trump lead I would have understood. Oh well.

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