This hand was written by Eddie Kantar of Santa Monica, CA
and is included in the 1999 edition of the Daily Bridge Calendar,
published by Ashler House Inc. of Brompton, Ontario, Canada.
After North opens one no trump, two clubs by South is the
Stayman convention asking partner if he has a four card major
suit holding. The two diamond reply denies four cards in either
major. Souths jump to three hearts is game forcing, showing a
hand with five hearts and four spades.
With this type of holding, many players prefer to use a
convention known as Smolen. After the two diamond response, the
Stayman bidder jumps to three in the suit that he holds four
cards in, promising a five card holding in the other major suit.
The opener can then bid four of the other major with a three card
fit, or, failing that, three no trump.
As you can see, the difference in bidding styles will only
determine which partner is the declarer, the contract will be the
same. Today, South plays four hearts. West is on lead and
selects the king of clubs. This card holds the first trick and
West continues with the ten of clubs, which South ducks in dummy.
East has a decision to make. The ten of clubs will win this
trick if he ducks. Should East overtake with his ace, or not?
If he allows the ten to hold the trick, West will probably
shift to a diamond. Declarer wins the ace and draws trump in
three rounds ending in dummy. He now plays the queen of clubs.
If East covers, declarer trumps and reenters the North hand with
the ace of spade to discard his losing diamond on the jack of
clubs. If East plays low on the queen of clubs, declarer is able
to discard the diamond immediately.
However, if East overtakes the ten of clubs with the ace and
returns a club, declarer is a dead duck. This type of play is
known as a trump promotion. If declarer trumps high, the jack of
hearts will become a trick for the defense later, and if declarer
trumps low, the defense will score the ten of hearts immediately.
In either case, the king of spades will become the setting trick.
As a defender, beware of gifts from declarer. It is usually
right to do the opposite of what it appears that he wants you to
a free-lance writer in Solon.