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Reopening the door

Reopening the door

Reopening the door

Rose, our club member whose kindness and courtesy toward her fellow players is so admirable, maintains that when one door closes ... you should just open it back up.

“It’s a door,” Rose says. “That’s how they work.”

In today’s deal, South makes six hearts easily if West leads, say, a diamond. South can take the ace, discard a diamond on the ace of clubs, cash the A-K of spades and ruff both of his low spades in dummy. But West’s trump opening lead slams the door on that plan. How should South reopen the door to 12 tricks?

Top spades

South can win the first trick in dummy, pitch a diamond on the ace of clubs and ruff a club. He takes the top spades, ruffs a spade, ruffs a club and draws trumps. South then exits with his last spade. When East wins, he is stuck. He has only diamonds left and must lead to dummy’s A-Q.

An even better door-opening line might be to ruff two clubs without cashing the ace, saving dummy’s A-Q. But South should certainly try to end-play East.

Daily question

You hold: S 10 7 H K 10 D A Q 5 C A Q 10 8 7 3. Your partner opens one heart, you respond two clubs and he rebids two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Since your partner has not (yet) promised more than five cards in hearts, to raise would be premature. A rebid of three clubs would not be forcing for most partnerships. Bid three diamonds. You can show heart tolerance at your next turn.

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