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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

“Regardless of what sadistic impulses we may harbour, winning bridge means helping partner avoid mistakes” Frank Stewart.
The deal this week is an example of helping your partner find the right defence. It is an illustration of the fact that a good defence often starts with the bidding. The hand is from the 2003 Lederer Memorial tournament in London and was reported by Simon Cocheme. David Burn and David Price were sitting EW. Imagine you are sitting West, holding this hand:

S: 107
H: Q4
D: AQ832
C: A1085

EW are vulnerable, NS non-vulnerable. North deals and passes. Your partner bids 3C. South doubles. What do you, sitting West, bid now and why? Here is the full deal:

  S: KQJ3  
  H: K8632  
  D: J9  
  C: 64  
S: 107   S: 654
H: Q4   H: J9
D: AQ832   D: 105
C: A1085   C: KQJ932
  S: A982  
  H: A1075  
  D: K764  
  C: 7  

This was the bidding at the table:

North East South West
P 3C Dbl 3D
4C P 4H All pass

Price (West) reasoned that with the unfavourable vulnerability, a 5C sacrifice would probably be too costly, so instead of bidding 4C, he bid three diamonds, the suit he wanted led in defence. Of course, he expected North to be declarer. North bid 4C to show willingness to play in either major. South bid 4H, and Price was on lead. He therefore led the club five, in an attempt to get his partner in the lead. East won the jack and returned the diamond ten. West took two diamond tricks and then led a third round. Declarer now had a choice of ways of going down. If he ruffed low on board, then East would over ruff. If he ruffed with the king, then he would lose a trump trick to the queen. Precision defence defeated an apparently cold contract.

The Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the web site If you have bridge questions, or to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: [email protected]

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Bridge in Paradise