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If you believe everything you read, you should consider giving up reading. Elementary texts tout defensive rules such as “third hand high” and “cover an honor.” Experienced players know how much general advice is worth.
Today’s West leads the nine of spades against four hearts. When dummy plays the queen, East, who has read lots of books, covers with the king. South takes the ace, cashes the A-K of trumps and the K-A of clubs, and ruffs a club.
When clubs split 3-3, South returns a spade to dummy to lead a good club, pitching his last spade as East ruffs. South loses two diamonds but makes game.
East might be correct to cover the queen of spades on some other deal, but not here. South has the ace, and if East plays low so dummy’s jack won’t be a late entry, South can’t use the long clubs and loses four tricks.
Never forget that some of what you read about bridge – even the bidding advice in the bridge columns – is open to question. That’s the nature of the game.
You hold: ´ 9 8 7 6 ™ 6 © A Q 10 6 2 ® 10 6 3. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two clubs. What do you say?
A: Two clubs certainly isn’t the contract of your dreams, but you must pass. Game is impossible. Your partner has fewer than 18 points, and any further bid by you (such as two diamonds, which would be forcing, or 2NT, which would promise about 11 points) might well get your side too high.
South dealer
Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
´ Q J 3
™ 9 4 2
© J 7
® A 9 5 4 2
WEST EAST
´ 9 8 7 6 ´ K 10 4
™ 6 ™ Q J 10
© A Q 10 6 2 © 9 8 4 3
® 10 6 3 ® Q J 8
SOUTH
´ A 5 2
™ A K 8 7 5 3
© K 5
® K 7
South West North East
1 ™ Pass 2 ™ Pass
4 ™ All Pass
Opening lead – ´ 9