Bridge: Sept. 22, 2023

Bridge: Sept. 22, 2023

The “Rule of 11” is not why football teams are penalized for having 12 men on the field. The rule obtains when a lead is known to be fourth-highest. Subtract the spot led from 11; the remainder is the number of higher cards the other three hands hold.

Against today’s 3NT, West led a low diamond, and South guessed to play dummy’s ten. He captured East’s king and led a club. East took the ace and returned the six of diamonds: three, eight, queen. When West won the next club, he cashed the jack of diamonds, but South had the rest.


West should have been flagged. East’s six was his original fourth-highest diamond. Applying the Rule of 11, West could find that he, dummy and declarer held five diamonds higher than the six — and West had seen all five: the king, queen, jack, ten and eight.

Since South had no more diamonds higher than the six, West could unblock his jack on the second diamond. When he took the king of clubs, the defense could run the diamonds for down one.


You hold: S J 10 9 3 2 H 9 D K 9 7 6 4 C A 8. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he rebids three hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since you have no heart tolerance and not much extra in high cards, to pass might be a winning action. Still, your partner could have a hand such as AQ,AK6543,53,K4 (you might well make four spades) or 4,AKJ654,AQ2,Q105 (3NT would be a favorite). Give fate a chance and bid three spades.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A 8 5

H K Q 7 4

D Q 10

C J 7 5 2


S Q 7 4

H 10 6 5 3 2

D J 8 2

C K 4


S J 10 9 3 2

H 9

D K 9 7 6 4

C A 8


S K 6

H A J 8

D A 5 3

C Q 10 9 6 3

South West North East
1 C Pass 1 H Pass
1 NT Pass 3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — D 2

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.