Bridge: Aug. 15, 2023

Bridge: Aug. 15, 2023

My friend the English professor has two peeves. One is word confusion. (The prof says that people who can’t distinguish between “entomology” and “etymology” bug him in ways for which he can’t find words.) The other is partners who bid whenever it’s their turn.

In today’s deal, South played at five hearts doubled. The prof, East, had opened one spade and bid four spades next, and West had tossed in a two-diamond bid. West led a spade, and declarer ruffed the second spade and pondered. He took the A-K of clubs, led a trump to dummy, ruffed a club and drew trumps.


South next led the king of diamonds. West won and had only diamonds left. South won the diamond return with his ten and claimed the rest. Making five.

“I guess his bid of two diamonds was meant to help me defend,” the prof grumbled to me. “Instead, he told declarer how to play the hand.”

South surely goes down if West doesn’t bid. Do you think West was unlucky or was his bid a long-run losing action? (Note that the prof’s defense wasn’t best.)


You hold: S 6 H 6 5 4 2 D A J 9 8 4 C 7 6 2. Both sides vulnerable. Your partner opens one heart. The next player doubles. What do you say?

ANSWER: Bid three hearts to show a weak, shapely hand. If your partner has a strong hand, he will go to game and make it, but if his hand is a minimum, you want to make it harder for the opponents to find a winning contract, which may be four spades. If you held 6,J6542,AJ984,76, you would jump to four hearts.

East dealer

Both sides vulnerable


S J 8 7 3

H 9 3

D Q 7 3

C 10 9 4 3


S 6

H 6 5 4 2

D A J 9 8 4

C 7 6 2


S A K Q 10 9 5 2

H None

D 6 2

C Q J 8 5


S 4

H A K Q J 10 8 7

D K 10 5


East South West North
1 S Dbl 2 D Pass
4 S 5 H Dbl All Pass
Opening lead — S 6

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