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Listen closely to the bidding

By Phillip Alder ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-09 07:30:26

Brigham Young said, "Silence may be golden, but can you think of a better way to entertain someone than to listen to him?"

Sometimes at the bridge table, silence is golden. If your side is going to be outbid, you often do best to pass throughout, because every call gives information to the opposing declarer. But, of course, sometimes you will not know that you are going to be outbid. And aggressive competition might push your opponents into the wrong contract.

In this deal, West had a perfectly normal opening bid, but it helped South with the play in four hearts. West began with three rounds of clubs. What did declarer do after he had ruffed East's queen?

South's takeout double, followed by the one-heart rebid, promised a good 17 to 19 high-card points. North took a shot at game, knowing that his partner would be able to place the cards accurately.

Someone who paid no attention to the auction would cross to dummy with a trump and run the diamond queen. But West would win and return anything but a club. Eventually declarer would lose a spade trick to go down one.

West is almost certain to have the diamond king for his opening bid. So declarer, who needs hearts 3-2, draws a couple of rounds of trumps. Then he should cash the diamond ace and play another diamond.

If West ducks, South can afford a spade loser. And if West wins the trick, declarer takes two spades, five hearts and three diamonds.

 

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