Bridge: Sept. 1, 2023

Bridge: Sept. 1, 2023

This week’s deals have treated declarer’s careful use of entries. Cover today’s East-West cards. Plan the play at six spades when West leads the queen of diamonds. (Warning: the winning line is difficult.)

The actual declarer took the A-K of diamonds and ruffed his last diamond in dummy. He drew trumps, cashed a fourth trump for exercise, and tried the A-K and a third heart. He hoped for a 3-3 break, but West took the nine and queen. Down one.


South succeeds by setting up dummy’s fifth club. But if he leads a club to the ace at the second trick and ruffs a club, he lacks the dummy entries to ruff two more clubs and get back for the good club.

At Trick Two, South leads the queen of clubs and ducks West’s king. South wins the diamond return, and proceeds thus: diamond ruff, club ruff, K-A of trumps, club ruff. South takes the queen of trumps and wins the last four tricks with the K-A of hearts and A-8 of clubs.

If you found the winning play, well done.


You hold: S K Q 9 8 7 H K 7 6 4 D A K 4 C Q. Your partner opens one heart. The next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Slam is likely, but you can’t bid one by yourself. Taking over with a bid of 4NT, Blackwood, may not tell you what you need to know. Jump-shift to two spades and support the hearts next. If you have a slam, partner will get you there. Some pairs use “weak jump-shifts.” I prefer the strong treatment.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A 3 2

H A 5 3

D 3 2

C A 8 5 4 2


S J 5 4

H Q 9 8 2

D Q J 10

C K J 9


S 10 6

H J 10

D 9 8 7 6 5

C 10 7 6 3


S K Q 9 8 7

H K 7 6 4

D A K 4


South West North East
1 S Pass 2 C Pass
2 H Pass 3 S Pass
4 D Pass 4 H Pass
6 S All Pass
Opening lead — D Q

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