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44 - December 2023

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ABTA Provides the Answers

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This month’s questions come from the 27th Madeira Bridge Festival.

Grand Life Master Patty Tucker was inducted into the ACBL’s Hall of Fame in 2019. For the last several decades she has devoted more time to teaching and developing material for students, experiencing a deep satisfaction in sharing with others her love for the game of bridge. Here she answers reader’s questions.

Give me a break

Dealer East. E/W Vul. IMPs

WNES
1♠Pass
2♣2PassPass
3Pass3♠Pass
4NTPass5Pass
PassPass6♠Pass
7NT

You were hoping your partner would have a sixth Spade or the Queen of Diamonds or even the Jack of Clubs. North leads the Queen of Hearts. What’s the best line?

If Spades are 5-1, I will have to commit to that line of play at the very beginning of the hand, as I don’t have adequate entries to try Clubs AND have a double squeeze. Instead, I will expect Spades to be 4-2. I will win the Heart and play three rounds of Clubs. If, as expected, Clubs are 4-2 my next play depends on who has four or more Clubs. I suspect that will be South. I now cash my remaining high Heart and play Ace of Spades, Jack of Spades and overtake with the Spade Queen. When I cash my remaining Spades, I will come down to:

When I play the ♠4 South, forced to keep a Club, will have to come down to two Diamonds. I discard the ♣8 which has done its work and North, forced to retain the J will also be forced down to two Diamonds, three rounds of the suit seeing dummy taking the last trick with the 7. A perfect double squeeze.

The double squeeze was the only way to make the contract, South holding ♠982 9 Q1098 ♣J10953.

Restricted Choice

Dealer West. E/W Vul. IMPs. North

♠ Q542
K1098
843
♣ Q10

WNES
1♠Pass1NTPass
4♠

What do think about the opening lead?

I would like a different hand to lead from. Anything could be correct (or wrong). I tend to make aggressive leads against game level contracts, thinking that my opponents are likely to have enough strength to establish tricks in side suits. So, my choice is between a Heart and a Club. For the ♣Q to be correct I would need partner to hold two Club honors (or the ♣A and work out that that I have a doubleton). With my luck on opening leads, ♣K would be in dummy and ♣J in declarer’s hand. I would lead the 10 and cross my fingers.

Partner has ♠108 43 A1062 ♣KJ943 so you need to lead a Club (or a low Spade).

The American Bridge Teachers Association is a networking organization of bridge teachers, authors, and anyone interested in the future of bridge. Its aim is to help those who teach bridge to do it better, more effectively, more knowledgeably and more professionally throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico. Send your bridge related question to markhorton007@hotmail.com – it might appear in this column!

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Patty Tucker

Grand Life Master Patty Tucker was inducted into the ACBL’s Hall of Fame in 2019. For the last several decades she has devoted more time to teaching and developing material for students, experiencing a deep satisfaction in sharing with others her love for the game of bridge. Here she answers reader’s questions.

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