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For bridge hands of interest

Lightner doubles at lower levels

Last month’s challenge mentioned that double of a freely bid slam is a Lightner or lead-directing double, usually asking for a lead of dummy’s first bid suit. Double of 3NT is also a Lightner double in much the same way. After North opens in spades and South twice bids hearts, what should you do with the West hand after North settles in 3NT?

WEST
♠ T752
 AQJ85
 7
 874

 

Read more: Lightner doubles at lower levels

Lightner strikes twice

Theodore Lightner (1893-1981) proposed that a double of a freely bid slam should ask for an unusual lead. The theory is that it is important to use the double to tell partner what to lead so you defeat the contract, rather than worry about doubling just to win a few extra points because you think you are taking them down.

Typically the doubler has a void and needs partner to lead that suit to score the ruff. Consider this hand:

Read more: Lightner strikes twice

Looking back to a Seres grand slam

On this hand from the 1977 Far East championships, Tim Seres and his partner of choice, Dick Cummings, bid to 7S in the match against the new nation of Bangladesh:

Contract: 7S by South. Lead: S3.

NORTH
♠ KQT8
 AK74
 93
 A53

SOUTH
♠ AJ94
 T8
 AQ
 KQ742

Seres was declarer, South, and won the first trick with dummy’s S8. How should the play proceed from there?

Read more: Looking back to a Seres grand slam

Winning with losers

Plan your play as declarer in 6S, on the auction and lead shown:

Contract: 6S by South. Lead: D3.

NORTH
♠ A8765
 K7
 Q4
 Q876                                   

SOUTH
♠ QT9432
 AQJ
 A6
 AT

WEST  NORTH  EAST   SOUTH
                    1S
Pass  2NT*   Pass   3S
Pass  4S     Pass   4NT
Pass  5D     Dble   6S

*Jacoby 2NT, showing a 4+fit and game points

Read more: Winning with losers

Showing them up

Holding the cards below, you open 1NT, which partner raises to 5NT. This is an unusual call; what are you supposed to do?

SOUTH
♠ KJT9
 QT8
 KQT9
 AQ

Read more: Showing them up

Friendly Pairs - Unfriendly Break

Trumps runs an enjoyable annual Friendly Pairs Congress, but this does not mean the cards are friendly.

Here is a hand from the second session of one of these events (directions switched for convenience). Your partner, North, opens a strong notrump. What is your strategy with this hand?

SOUTH
 AT84
 K4
 2
 KJ6542

Read more: Friendly Pairs - Unfriendly Break

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