April 2009


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By Arlene Port


Two Parter this month.

#1) You are South Ė IMPS, None Vulnerable

Your hand is: 

S        A 3
H         A Q 3 2
D         Q 6 3
C        A K 7 4

The bidding is:


What do you bid? 


#2) You are South - IMPS, E/W Vulnerable

The bidding is:


* - Splinter

Your Hand:

S         2
H         8 6 5
D         A 8 7 6 3
C        A J 9 8

What do you lead?


Bruce Keidan: #1) 4D. We seem to be playing with an 80-point deck on this deal. The question is, who has the three  missing diamonds. If partner has two, we need to play NT. If not, then, we should play a suit. I'll  let him describe his hand further, bypasssing 3NT, but keeping slam in the picture. 3NT or 4S here would end the auction, and I don't want to do that.
 #2) Club A. My D trick is unlikely to go away. If I don't lead one, declarer may try ruffing dc and get overruffed by pard. H and S both rate to help

Ernie Retetagos: #1)   4 spades.  Not my style to bid 3 NT without a stopper in their suit. My extra ace should make up for lack of a third spade.
#2)   6 of hearts   I don't like to lead unsupported Aces or singleton trumps.
Asim Ulke: #1) I bid 4H. This is a milder slam try and would give a chance to partner to bid 4NT to make a more intelligent slam decision. I have an invite to slam in spades. We may have a loser in spades and 1 or 2 losers in diamonds. A 5S bid by me would ask partner to bid 6S with a second round diamond control. It would also suggest a better holding than A 2 in spades. Since partner would bid 6S with a holding of x diamond and KQxxxx in spades, a bad spade brake would sink the slam.
#2) Hx I am not going to lead a singleton trump or an ace. By elimination my lead is a heart, Hx.
P.J. Prabhu #1) 4H. Hate to bypass 3NT. But what is even worse is going down in 3 in 3NT when we are cold for a game or even a slam. 4H keeps all suit games open and denies D control and possibly 3-card S support. If pard rebids S, I will raise to 5 requesting pard to bid slam with D control, but recognizing that this risks going down in 5S.
#2) H8. With two aces, I have two tricks and the possibility of a third in Cs. Hence I need much from pard to beat this; hence I'm hopeful. I want to make a passive lead and don't fancy a trump lead. Thus the top of nothing H8 by the process of elimination.
Herb Sachs #1) 4 Hearts An advance q-bid in hopes of getting to a slam if my partner has shortness in diamonds and good cards. (Doesnít need much.) I am too good to bid 4 spades. No way partner will bid over a 4 spades bid no matter what I have.
# 2)  I lead the 6 of hearts. I am not smart enough to lead the ace of clubs, playing partner specifically for a singleton or doubleton king. I hope the heart doesn't give anything away. Diamond ace may set up pitches in the dummy. It is basically a guess!!
Bill Holt: #1) 4D - Partner's forcing 3S call puts this hand in the slam zone but how to bid it is tough.  4d would tend to suggest shortness but it's right on values.  I hate to raise S's on two pieces and 3NT ends the auction - and 4H might as well.  I am going to err on the optimistic side with 4d.  Partner could have a diamond card amongst his 13ish points or, more likely, he is short d's and can rebid his long spades or show a 6-4 hand with 4H.  Then I can raise either major.
#2) Ace of Clubs - Goal is 4 tricks and it looks like we have two aces, perhaps partner has a trump trick for three and just maybe we can get another club.  Ace of Clubs will work if partner has the King but gives up the contract if partner only has the Queen.  Declarer is either on a minimum or has values in diamonds (or both) - but he might have discards on dummy's heart suit.  Against this auction I want to attack.

Gail Carns: #1) 5S I hope partner can handle the rest if they have 0 or 1 D loser #2 8H I hope dummy's diamond loser goes away on hearts.

Jim Bachelder #1.  I'm bidding 4C, a cue bid in support of spades. If partner can cue 4d, I'm going to get interested; if not, I'm going to settle in 4S. I thought about bidding 5S (asking partner if we have no more than 1 loser in diamonds) but rejected it because partner would bid slam holding something like: KQJXXX, KX, KX, XXX, which goes down on a ruff immediately.
#2) Heart spot.  I'm certainly not a fan of stiff trump leads, nor, leading low from worthless suits, however, on this auction, I'm leading my third best heart.  Leading from either minor suit is totally unpalatable.

Florine Walters: #1) 4H It is not clear whether partner has just five spades and since I do have extra values, I am going to bid four hearts which should be a forward going bid probably in support of spades. If partner bids 4 spades, I will reluctantly pass. If partner bids 6 diamonds, I will correct to 6 spades and will hope he has good spades. If partner bids five clubs, I will again reluctantly pass. I would expect partner to bid 6 clubs if their distribution is 5, 2, 1, 5  or 5, 3, 1, 4 and a opening bid.
 #2) H6 The lead problem is quite difficult. The dummy should have at least eight plus cards distributed between hearts and clubs and declarer is marked with diamond high cards as well as some length in that suit. Leading a spade is probably not going to do much since I can't lead them again and if declarer has to ruff diamonds in dummy, partner may develop a trump trick. Since I do not like leading from AJ holdings, it comes down to the heart suit. I might add leading from three small is generally not a good lead, but am leading the heart 6 and will hope for the best - especially from partner!

Richard Finberg: #1)  4D.  North will expect better spades and may think I have a D control, but a mere 3NT or 4S will not convey extra strength, 4C is signoff, 4H technically best, but agreed to be a cue (unlikely).  With as little as KQJxxx, Kx, x, xxxx by North, Spade slam is likely on C-H squeeze, and better hands produce laydowns.
#2)  C8.  Aggressive, but declarer has D waste and possibly power to spare. We hope for DA plus either 3 clubs or 2 clubs and trump trick. H lead requires partner to hold too much, i.e.,HA (possibly working K) plus  CQ (if CK with declarer). If CK in dummy, H lead may set up C pitch on H.  Of course, if we knew dummy had Qxx of clubs, we lead CJ, not C8, in case declarer has 10xx -- but opponents should hold hands closer to chest for rest of match. S and D leads have no merit. 

Jim Bossert: #1) 5 spades. As long as pard can control diamonds and has good spades, slam should be on.
#2) 8c Since this is NOT easy, I'll lead the 8c.

Auxiliary Experts:

Paul Rosenberg: #1) I would bid 4 hts.  I believe that this is a reverse, and would show the 19 hcp that I have, with
partner knowing I do not have 5 hearts. I would be uncomfortable in 3nt, as I do not have a true stopper in diamonds against a presumed 7 d  in west hand.  The 4H bid also gives my partner a chance to show his strength, with a retreat to 4 spades, indicating a fit or perhaps he will make an even stronger bid with pts and heart support. I believe we should be in game or more and in a suit
# 2) JC East could have a marginal opening, with the strength in the west...east's bid of 4 spades cuts the auction short.  I would like to preserve my aces, and would therefore lead the jack of clubs...maybe trapping the q of clubs  in west hand, and possibly making 3 clubs follwed by the ace of diamonds....the alternative might be the ace of diamond lead and then take a look at the strength of west.

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National Experts:

Philip Alder4D8HBoris Koytchou4S6H
Alan Bell5S5HDavid LissN/A8H
 Marty Bergen4D2SKaren McCallum4DN/A
David Berkowitz4NTACMarshall Miles4SAD
Mark Blumenthal4H6HMike Passell4DN/A
Larry Cohen4DADLarry Robbins4S2S
Martin Cohn4SN/AArthur Robinson4D5H
Chris Compton3NT5HSteve Robinson3NT5H
Charles Danan4HN/AAl Roth4D8H
Billy Eisenberg3NT2SJeff Rubens4DAD
Robb Gordon4D2SIra Rubin3NT6H
Alan Graves4D2SFred Stewart4D2S
Carl Hudecek5S6HPaul Sugar4HAD
Michael Kamil5S5HHoward Weinstein4DAD
Eddie Kantar4H8HRobert Wolff4D8H
Sami Kehela4D5HKit Woolsey4DAD
Eric Kokish4D8HRay Zoller5S5H

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