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For bridge hands of interest

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.

♠ KQT8

♠ AJ94

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.

♠ A8765

♠ QT9432

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?

♠ KJT9

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?


Read more: Friendly Pairs - Unfriendly Break

Counting the key

This deal was submitted by leading player Ted Bourke, of Canberra .

Your left hand opponent, West, is vulnerable and opens a weak 2H and your partner, North, overcalls 2S.  East passes and you must decide what to do with this hand:

♠ J72

With 20 HCP and a reasonable fit for spades, you bid 4NT (which you play as ordinary Blackwood, not Keycard), and North answers 5D to show one ace. What should you call next?

A danger if you bid 6S is that East will be on lead and will lead a heart through your king, and it will be no surprise to find that the heart bidder, West, is sitting over you with the A-Q of hearts. To protect your king, you decide to bid 6NT. This has been the auction:

2H    2S     Pass   4NT
Pass  5D     Pass   6NT
All pass

The DJ is led, and this is what you see: 

Dealer West, EW vul. Contract: 6NT by South. Lead: DJ. 

♠ AKQ85

♠ J72

How should you plan the play in 6NT?

Read more: Counting the key

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