Bridge: January 20, 2022

“If you do not succeed at first … it looks like you failed.” – The cynic.

I continue a week with the timing of the piece. One aspect of timing is to try every chance for your contract. If it does not succeed in the first place, you still have options.

As the west led a trump card against the sludge of the day, winning south with the ace, unblocking the heart ace and leading a club to the dummy’s kid. East took the queen and led the spar stick: queen, king, ace. South threw his last spade at the King of Hearts and struck a heart. When East-West played low. South ran its trumps, but West retained the K-9 of clubs and won the 13th trick.


South left a chance untried. After taking the spar ace, he collects the clover ace. When the king does not fall, he throws his last club at the king of hearts and strikes a club high. The clubs break 3-3, so the dummy’s last club is a winner.

If the clubs did not break evenly, the South could lead a trump to ten and beat a heart high. He would succeed if the queen fell.


You have: SA 4 HKJ 5 3 D 10 7 2 CAJ 6 3.

Your partner opens a diamond. The next player offers two spades.

What do you say?

ANSWER: You may get away with bidding three clubs or 3NT, but your correct and flexible action is a negative double. By appointment, a double would show hearts, but the wrong hand type to bid three hearts plus either diamond support or club length.

If the partner rebid three panes, try 3NT or four panes.

North dealer

NS vulnerable


SA 4

HKJ 5 3

D 10 7 2

CAJ 6 3


EN 8 6 5

H 9 6 4 2

D 9 8

CK 9 8


SJ 10 9 7 2

HQ 10 8 7

D 5

CQ 7 2


SQ 3


DAKQJ 6 4 3

C 10 5 4

Northeast Southwest
1 C passed 2 D passed
2 NT Passed 6 D All Passed

Opening line – D 9

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