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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

                  Worth a Thought?

Well, what can you be thinking about? The opponents have conducted a long-winded auction and have reached their final destination. If you are following the auction, you will find that you are not on lead. So, there’s nothing much to think about just yet, is there?

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South Deals
None Vul
   
9 7 5 3
A 4
K 10 9 7 4
9 3
 
N
W   E
S
   
West North East South
      1 
Pass 1  Pass 1 NT
Pass 2  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 4 
Pass 4 NT Pass 5 
Pass 6  Pass Pass
?      

 

You might have been asleep during the auction…hopefully not, as you will be taking part in the defence!

So, 1NT was 15-17 and 2Diamond-small artificial and game-forcing. 2 Heart-smallshowed 3-card support and 3Heart-small set trumps, looking for slam. A club cue-bid and North was using key-card. South showed 2 without Heart-smallQ.

Any thoughts?

Well, you might wonder what your partner is going to lead? What would you like them to lead? A diamond would be nice. Maybe you could score your king and you will certainly make the Heart-smallA. So, thinking nice thoughts, how can you encourage your partner with very little strength to lead a diamond, the first bid suit by dummy?

Why, a Lightner Double of the slam. That’s what it traditionally asks for, certainly not the unbid suit and certainly not a trump. There’s not much to lose. The auction is not yet over: it’s not too late!

So, you find a double of 6Heart-small and await partner’s lead…but it does not come. Why? One of the opponents, South, decided they could have another bid, 6NT! Suddenly, your partner could not find the wrong lead. The pressure was back on you because you were on lead! The good news was that you were not going to find the wrong lead. Why? Because there was no good lead! Ouch. These were the four hands:

South Deals
None Vul
A K 6 4
Q J 7 6 5
J 5
A J
9 7 5 3
A 4
K 10 9 7 4
9 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 8 2
10 9 3
6 2
10 8 6 4 2
 
Q J
K 8 2
A Q 8 3
K Q 7 5

 

The big question is what would your “pointless” partner have led to 6Heart-small? In such situations, they might just opt for the normal safety of a trump lead: safe, unspectacular and wrong. It had to be a diamond to test the declarer. Any 4-3 club break sees the Diamond-smallJ discarded on the third round of clubs.

That was not the case here. North will still survive as long as they cash Club-smallAJ after taking the Diamond-smallA at trick 1, play a spade to the jack, then Club-smallK which West ruffs low. Disappointment for North but there is still one more chance. Cross back to Spade-smallQ and play the fourth round of clubs…and West has to ruff with the ace or not at all. All North needs now is a 3-2 trump break…and they are home, +980.

Conjecture, as they ran to perhaps where they should have been, 6NT, which was a better contract needing either the diamond finesse or a normal heart break. It seems when making a Lightner Double, you not only think your request will beat the slam they are in but the one they may run to as well, which often will be 6NT. That, perhaps, is why West should have waited and hoped that their partner might lead their doubleton, a lead that was not quite good enough.

right and wrong person.jpg
right result, but for which side?

Lightner doubles create interest and excitement but rather too often create the right result for the wrong side, declarer’s!

Not a problem!?

I do not want to tax you too much on a Monday (am not really sure why not!) but a rather gentle question for you to worry about overnight:

West Deals
None Vul
9 5 2
J 7 6 4 2
Q J
K Q 6
   
N
W   E
S
 
10
A 10
K 10 9 8 7 6 5
J 10 3
West North East South
  Dummy You  
Pass Pass 3  3 
Pass 4  All pass  

 

Your partner leads Diamond-small3. Your play as East to trick 1?

Richard Solomon

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