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Play Bridge: Bridge: 201- get right to it

None vulnerable - Warren Watson
None vulnerable
— image credit: Warren Watson

This is a hand that occurred at the Rookie-Master game at the end of May. Whenever there is a fifth Thursday in a month, a rookie-master game is held at the Trail United Church at 7 p.m.

The bidding:

South opens two No Trump with a balanced 20 high card points. North has enough for game, and knows they have an eight-card or better heart fit, so he jumps to four diamonds, a Texas transfer to four hearts.

Had North bid three diamonds and then jumped to four hearts, he would have been making a mild slam try. His hand is not that strong.

The Lead: Either the Jack of clubs or Jack of Diamonds should be led. Both leads will require delicate handling by the declarer, but the top of the longer touching sequence should be led, the Jack of diamonds.

The play:

With a club lead, declarer must win the ace and immediately lead trump. He will eventually need a diamond finesse to pitch a losing club.

With a diamond lead, the Ace takes the King, and declarer gets to drawing trump right away. A heart is played. West wins the Jack and exits a spade. Declarer wins the Ace and plays the Queen of Hearts. West wins and exits another spade which is ruffed in dummy. Declarer plays the Ten of Hearts which West wins, West exits another spade which is ruffed in dummy and the last heart is drawn. Declarer cashes the Queen of diamonds and King of spades, pitching two losing clubs and claims.

This is an example of a forcing defense. The defenders want declarer to trump in the long trump hand, and the declarer wants the defender to cash his trump. The defender does not want to help the declarer so he forces declarer to draw his trump because the declarer does not want the Seven of hearts to get a trick.

Result:

Four Hearts by South making for +420.

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