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For bridge hands of interest

“Drop dead” lives on

Most players are aware that after partner opens 1NT, it is possible for responder to perform a rescue operation to a long suit, as South might do with this hand:

♠ Q8643

1NT        ?

Read more: “Drop dead” lives on

Better Frank than timid

How would you bid this board from a past Trumps Festival of Bridge event?

Dealer North, EW vul.

          ♠ J74
WEST                 EAST
5                  T62
A87643             Q2
Q976               KJ85
T6                 J943

Read more: Better Frank than timid

Coming up trumps

Today’s hand has points of interest in bidding, declarer play and defence. It was submitted by Geoff Dunsford, who played it in a duplicate at Trumps.

Dealer West, EW vul.

          S Q98642
          H AT975
          D 83
          C —
WEST              EAST         
S AJT7            S K53      
H KQ8             H 32  
D K7              D QJT94
C AK76            C 852
          S —
          H J64
          D A652
          C QJT953

Read more: Coming up trumps

Hall of fame

The Bridge Hall of Fame was started by the Bridge World magazine in 1964. The founding members were Ely Culbertson and Charles Goren (the only two bridge authorities to be totally dominant in their times) and Harold Stirling Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt, who died in 1970, was the inventor of the modern game of bridge. Known to friends and family as Mike, he was the great-grandson of the shipping and railway tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt. He invented contract bridge in 1925, but it was as a yachtsman that he hit the cover of Time in 1930 when he won the America’s Cup. He repeated this success in 1934 and then, in 1937, with his wife as the first female fully-fledged member of an America’s Cup team. (The two of them were posthumously elected to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in 1993.)

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No escape from surround play

In another hand from a past World Bridge Championship, we look at a textbook defensive situation with which few club players are familiar.

Dealer West, both vul
WEST            EAST (Dummy)
 AK             JT42
 Q87            T54
 K8             AT96
 AKJ742         85

2C       2D
2NT      3C
3D       3NT
All pass

In this hand from a Senior Teams World Championship, North led the S5 (fourth highest) to the S2, S8 and SA. Declarer cashed the CA then crossed to dummy via the DA in order to lead a second round of clubs to finesse to the CJ. This won but North showed out. Declarer persisted with clubs but had to lose the fourth round to South.

South now switched to hearts; but which heart should South lead? Usually it is right to lead low (such as the fourth highest) when your honours are broken rather than sequential, but on the actual layout, declarer could then duck the trick around to North's HK, and a heart back would then set up declarer's HQ as a winner.

Read more: No escape from surround play

A matter of planning – and timing

Sitting South with the hand shown, you open a strong notrump, partner raises to 2NT (to show 8-9 HCP), and you accept the invitation. Against your 3NT contract, West leads the H7, fourth highest. You try the H10 from dummy and it wins, indicating that West has both missing heart honours (the king and jack). How should you plan the hand from here?

Dealer South, nil vul


Pass  2NT    Pass   3NT

Read more: A matter of planning – and timing