Try this hand

For bridge hands of interest

We shall overcome

On the deal below, 6S looked to be a sweet spot when dummy went down. A bad trump break gave the slam a sour taste but a sniff at the bidding made it palatable after all.

Dealer: West, both Vul. Contract: 6S by South. Lead: DK.

NORTH
♠  853
♥  AKQ92
  74
  A54

SOUTH
♠  AKQT4
♥  J8
  A93
  QJ3

WEST   NORTH  EAST   SOUTH
3D     3H     Pass   3S
Pass   4S     Pass   4NT
Pass   5H     Pass   6S
All pass

Against South’s 6S contract, West led the king of diamonds while East followed with the D2 (standard leads and signals). Declarer fancied the prospects of making 12 tricks: five in each major, plus the minor suit aces.

After winning the diamond lead, declarer cashed a top spade and was disconcerted to see West show out, meaning that East had five spades. Time for a rethink.  

Read more: We shall overcome

Markovics' Swiss bacon

A Swiss event is like a ladder - the top two pairs play each other and so on. Each Wednesday night at Trumps Bridge Centre, there is a Swiss Pairs and while the round is being scored up, expert panellists discuss the deals just played. This article features one such deal. 

After your partner opens a 15-17 1NT, what is your strategy with this hand?

 93
 A843
 A8
 T8753

Read more: Markovics' Swiss bacon

Good judgement

Would you open the bidding with the hand below?

NORTH
 KT65
 T7
 4
 AQJT82

Read more: Good judgement

Living with losers

With the hand below, South opened a game force, then bid spades next round. South has one obvious diamond loser and the chance of losing something in hearts, but after North showed spade support, South decided that slam was worth a go. Perhaps North would have a useful card (such as the HQ) or the hearts might come good (on a successful finesse, for example).

Plan as South your play in 6S, on the lead of the CA:

NORTH
 T62
 53
 65
 Q98632 

SOUTH
 AKQJ93
 AKJ98
 A7
 —

Read more: Living with losers

Unusual bidding

Today we have another hand from a past Trumps Easter Sunday Teams Congress. Your partner, East, opens 1H, and the next player, South, overcalls 2NT. This is the Unusual Notrump, showing a weakish hand but a good 5-5 in the minors. What should you do with the West hand below?

WEST (you)
 K943
 KJ2
 432
 A97

Read more: Unusual bidding

No holiday in doubled contract

Consider this deal from a previous Trumps Easter Teams event as the defender sitting West.

Your right hand opponent opened 1H, you passed, responder called 1NT (which, it is explained, may contain up to 11 points), your partner overcalls 2S, opener doubles this which is explained as takeout, you up the ante by bidding 3S, and North ventures 3NT. Here is the auction:

WEST  NORTH  EAST  SOUTH
                    1H
Pass   1NT    2S    Dble
3S     3NT   Pass   Pass
Dble   All pass

Read more: No holiday in doubled contract

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