Both sides vulnerable


{spade} K 8

{heart} A Q 9 2

{diam} 9 8 6

{club} A K Q J


{spade} 10 6 4

{heart} J 6 3

{diam} Q 10 7 5

{club} 10 7 4


{spade} A J 5 3

{heart} K

{diam} A K 3 2

{club} 9 6 3 2


{spade} Q 9 7 2

{heart} 10 8 7 5 4

{diam} J 4

{club} 8 5

The bidding: East SouthWestNorth 1 {diam} PassPass DblPass1 {heart} 2 {diam} 4 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {diam} 5

After a few tricks, a good declarer has formed a picture of the defenders' hands from the bidding and play. That's what Mark Itabashi did at the ACBL Summer Championships.

East took the king of diamonds and returned a low diamond and West won and shifted to a spade. East captured dummy's king and returned a spade, and Itabashi took the queen.

East's underlead in diamonds was risky. Itabashi knew East had wanted to put West in for a spade shift, but then East must have the jack of spades as well as the ace. East also had the A-K of diamonds and probably the king of hearts. (West had passed East's opening bid but had shown a queen and might have a jack.)

So Itabashi counted East for 15 or 16 points. But most tournament players open 1NT with 15 to 17 points, and since East hadn't done so, his pattern was unbalanced.

Itabashi therefore led a trump to the ace. When the king fell, he took the A-K of clubs, ruffed a club, drew trumps with a finesse of the nine and claimed.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A J 5 3 {heart} K {diam} A K 3 2 {club} 9 6 3 2.

You open one diamond, your partner bids one heart, you try one spade and he rebids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's jump-rebid in his own suit is invitational to game, not forcing, but since you have 15 good points, you can accept. Bid four hearts. Since he promises a fine six-card suit, your support is adequate: The singleton king is at least as good as two low hearts.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services