Test Your Defense

The 2017 World Championships saw many expert errors. After two weeks of pressure, the players are mentally and emotionally spent.
You’re today’s East, playing for France in the Bermuda Bowl final against the United States. Cover the West and South cards and defend against four spades. Note the auction. The U.S. North-South pair is known to bid boldly.

Dlr: East ♠ A J 10
Vul: All K Q 8 4
Q 9 6 2
♣ K 9
♠ Q 8 7 ♠ K
J 10 7 5 A 6 3 2
J 8 7 K 3
♣ Q 10 6 ♣ A 8 7 5 3 2
♠ 9 6 5 4 3 2
A 10 5 4
♣ J 4
East South West North
1♣ 1♠(!) Pass 2♣
Pass 2♠ Pass 3NT
Pass 4♠ All Pass

Opening lead — J
West leads the J: king, ace, nine. What do you return?

Serious Grief

The French East tried a heart, which came to serious grief. South pitched a club, won with dummy’s eight, cashed the ace of trumps and threw his last club on the Q. He forced out West’s queen of trumps and handled the diamonds for one loser to make his game.
It’s hard to construct a deal where East would regret taking his ♣A at Trick Two. The defense would also get a trump and a diamond. In the other room, East-West for the U.S. played at 3, down one. The U.S. gained 11 IMPs — and won the Bermuda Bowl by two!

Daily Question

You hold: ♠K   A 6 3 2 K 3    ♣A 8 7 5 3 2.
Your partner opens 1♠, you bid 2♣, he bids 2 and you try 2. Partner then bids 2♠. What do you say?

I would expect partner to have a good hand, probably with six spades and four diamonds. With a minimum such as   ♠A J 9 7 6 4    K 5   A J 9 2   ♣4, he would rebid two spades at his second turn to limit the strength. Bid 6♠. Partner might hold ♠A Q 10 7 6 4   K 5   A Q 10 2   ♣4.

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