Bridge In Dublin
My summer tour of Ireland began in Dublin, where I played at the outstanding Regent Bridge Club. In today’s deal, my partner slipped on defense. To see if you can do better, cover the West/South cards. Defend as East.
Against five clubs, West leads the J: king, ace, deuce. What next?

Dlr: West ♠ K 6 2
Vul: All K
A 10 9 8 5 4
♣ J 5 3
♠ A 5 4 ♠ J 10 8 3
J 10 8 6 5 A Q 7 4 3
K 6 Q 7 3 2
♣ 9 6 2 ♣ —
♠ Q 9 7
9 2
♣ A K Q 10 8 7 4
West North East South
Pass 1 1 2♣
3 4♣(!) Pass 5♣
All Pass

Opening lead J
To beat this contract — and since not every North-South will reach game, you may need to beat it to avoid disaster — West must hold the ♠A, but unless you have a diamond or trump trick coming (unlikely), you will need two spades.


If declarer has enough entries to set up and run the diamonds, you are sunk. But if West had a singleton diamond, he might have led it. If South has one and can’t use the diamonds, he may have unavoidable spade losers.
At Trick Two, return a passive heart. As the cards lay, South must lose two spades. At my table, East shifted to the ♠J: seven, five, king. Declarer later led a spade to his nine and made his game.

Daily Question

You hold: ♠A 5 4   J 10 8 6 5   K 6    ♣9 6 2.
Your partner opens 1, you respond 1 and he bids 1♠.
What do you say?
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[su_spoiler title=”ANSWER” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]You have no good call. To pass is possible — partner’s 1♠ is not forcing — but he could have 18 points, and you might miss a game. A rebid of 2 would require a longer or much stronger suit. As the lesser evil, try 1NT despite the lack of a club trick. At least your pattern is balanced.[/su_spoiler]