This hand was played at a local duplicate game. South
opened the bidding with one spade. West, taking advantage of the
favorable vulnerability, made a "Michael's" cue bid of two
spades. This shows a hand with two five card suits, one of which
is the other major. This bid really does not promise a lot of
points. With a hand of intermediate values (12 to 15 points), it
is better to bid both suits. In the event that the bidder has a
very good hand and makes a Michael's bid, the hands value can be
shown by subsequent bids.
After North passes, East makes a simple preference for
hearts and this gets passed around to North. The three spade bid
is competitive in nature and does not promise many points. With
a better hand he may have bid three spades directly over the two
spade call. South has a very nice hand with good heart values
and decides that he really doesn't need much from his partner.
Four spades ends the auction.
West starts with the king of diamonds. A low diamond is
played from dummy and East over takes with the ace. The correct
play would have been the three. There is no reason to overtake.
If West doesn't continue, the switch will probably be to a heart.
Declarer will win and play a spade. East can win the ace and
play the ace of diamonds, ensuring the defeat of the contract.
With the play of the ace at trick one, declarer is given a
reprieve. East continues with the three of diamonds and alas,
declarer falls from grace, trumping this trick. A small spade
goes to the queen and the ace. East returns a spade and declarer
wins and discovers the bad break. At this point, East has more
trump than the declarer and the contract will be defeated one
Do you see the winning play? At trick two declarer must
discard a club and allow West's queen to win. On any lead from
West declarer wins and plays a spade. East wins the ace but
declarer can draw all the trump and discard his ten of clubs on
the good jack of diamonds. It doesn't matter if the queen of
clubs drops or not.
Declarer has a very good count on the hand from the bidding
and play. Spades rate not to break well, so why take a chance?
Don't play in haste - take a moment and figure out what is going
on. That is sound advice for the defenders as well as for the
Unit 125 of the American Contract Bridge League will host
the Silver Bowl Sectional Bridge Tournament starting next Friday
at the Solon Valley Party Center, 6340 Melbury, Solon. Single
session stratified events for players at all levels will be held
at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Stratum A will be restricted to
players with more than 1,500 master points. The master point
range for Stratum B will be 750 to 1,499, and for Stratum C, 0 to
A two session Open Pair event will start at 11:00 a.m. on
Saturday. The second session will start at 3:30 p.m. This event
will be stratified. Stratum A1 will be for players with 2,000
master points or more and Stratum A2 will be for players with
less than 2,000 master points. Single session stratified events
will be held at the same times for Stratum B (500 to 1,500 master
points) and Stratum C (less than 500 master points).
Separate events will also be held on Friday and Saturday for
players with less than 300 master points.
Team events for players of all levels will start at 11:00
a.m. on Sunday.
Additional information and partnership assistance is
available by calling 440-248-3983. The Unit 125 web site can be
found at http://www.whistclub.org
a free-lance writer in Solon.
To reach Harvey Bernstein: