Bridge: Sept. 25, 2023

“Avoidance” is declarer’s technique of preventing a “dangerous” defender — one who can make a damaging lead — from getting in.

Today’s South opens 1NT, and North-South reach 3NT with a routine Stayman sequence. West leads a low heart, and East plays the ten. Declarer wins with the jack and knows that West is lurking with the A-Q and more hearts, and if East gets in, bad things may happen.

South has eight top tricks: a heart in the bag, four clubs, a diamond and two spades. He needs a third spade and must set up dummy’s fourth spade without letting East win a trick.


South needs a lucky lie of the spades as well as correct play. At Trick Two he leads a spade, and when West follows with the four, South wins in dummy, returns a club to his hand and leads a second spade.

If West plays the ten, declarer takes the king and leads a third spade to West. If West were to play the queen on the second (or first) spade lead, dummy would play low.

This week: avoidance.


You hold: S A K 7 2 H 9 8 D 8 7 5 C J 10 7 3. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, he bids two diamonds and you return to two hearts. Partner then bids three diamonds. What do you say?

ANSWER: When partner bids again despite your weak preference, he shows game interest. He would not go to the three level just to show a fifth diamond. You have no honors in his suits, but you have a fair hand and black-suit stoppers. Bid 3NT.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S A K 7 2

H 9 8

D 8 7 5

C J 10 7 3


S Q 10 4

H A Q 4 3 2

D K 6 2

C 8 6


S J 8 6

H 10 7 5

D Q J 9 4

C 9 5 2


S 9 5 3

H K J 6

D A 10 3

C A K Q 4

South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 C Pass
2 D Pass 2 NT Pass
3 NT All Pass
Opening lead — H 3

©2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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