Try this hand

For bridge hands of interest

Vanishing losers

Playing in a teams match, you pick up the hand below:

SOUTH
♠ AQ53
AK985
KQJT

Best is to start quietly with a 1H opening. There is a small chance that you will miss a game if the other players pass (and your partner has, for example, Kxxxx of spades and nothing else) but so long as the bidding does not die out, you will have room to continue describing your hand if necessary.

Anyway, partner makes a limit raise to 3H (11-12). Your hand revalues to 24 total points (including the void) so you figure you have values for slam, and bid 6H.

West tries leading the DA and another diamond. What is your analysis of the hand?

Dealer South, nil vul.

NORTH
J42
QJT
43
AQ932

SOUTH
AQ53
AK985
KQJT

Read more: Vanishing losers

“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:

SOUTH
♠ Q8643
52
32
9852

NORTH      SOUTH
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.

          NORTH
          ♠ J74
          9
          AT42
          AKQ87
WEST                 EAST
5                  T62
A87643             Q2
Q976               KJ85
T6                 J943
          SOUTH
         
AKQ983
         
KJT5
         
3
         
52

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.

          NORTH
          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
          SOUTH
          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.)

Read more: Hall of fame

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
         NORTH
         
 Q9753
         
 K32
         
 Q743
         
 9
WEST            EAST (Dummy)
 AK             JT42
 Q87            T54
 K8             AT96
 AKJ742         85
         SOUTH
         
 86
         
 AJ96
         
 J52
         
 QT63

WEST     EAST
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

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