Mike's Advice



♠ Q J 10 9 3
A 9 2
6 4
♣ Q 6 2
♠ 8 2 ♠ 7 6 5 4
K Q 8 4 7 6 5
Q J 8 5 10 9
♣ 8 7 4 ♣ K J 9 5
♠ A K
J 10 3
A K 7 3 2
♣ A 10 3
West North East South
Pass 1♠ Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3♠
Pass 3NT All Pass

The bidding used an unusual convention. When South rebid 2NT, North bid 3, a transfer bid, telling South to bid 3♠. South did and North’s 3NT bid offered South a choice of games. Much as if South had opened with 2NT. I can think of about four methods you can use after a 2NT rebid and suggest that this is an area which you should discuss and choose from.

West leads the K. There are ten top tricks if you can get them. Can you do that?

Here is one line of play that you might expect to see. If South takes the A and unblocks his 10 (or jack) he can cash the top spades and can try to get to dummy but it won’t work. West will not take his queen if South leads a tempting J and West will rise with his Q if South leads a low one.

There is a technique that works. If you have not found a sure line yet, look further to see if you can find one.

The winning line makes an assumption. It assumes that West has the K Q, a fair wish given that leading the king from any other holding is nearly impossible.

Instead of making the instinctive play of the A which guarantees a second heart trick, let West have the K. You will unblock the 10 or jack from your hand. West is in and he has no good plays. If he does not lead a heart, you have all the time you need to play on spades. Most likely you will end up with 10 tricks. Eleven is possible too. If West leads another heart, you finesse the nine if West leads a low heart and if he leads the queen, you win the ace and finish unblocking with the jack. This play leaves the 9 as your entry to the dummy.

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