Goren Bridge Society

Unblock?

Today’s deal is from a team competition, where overtricks are of little value.

The meaning of North’s three-spade bid was not clear to East-West. Many experts play that bid as a Michael’s Cue Bid, showing a two-suited hand with hearts and an unknown minor. They inquired and were told, correctly, that the bid asked South to bid three no trump with a spade stopper. This gave East-West a clear picture, before the opening lead, that dummy would probably have a long, running suit and South would have a stopper in spades.

South rose with dummy’s ace of hearts on the opening lead in the hope of blocking the heart suit. This would have worked, except that East unblocked his king of hearts under the ace! South led dummy’s king of clubs to West’s ace, but West was only able to cash two heart tricks and the ace of spades. It looked like the defence had gotten off to a good start. What went wrong?

Unblocking the king of hearts seemed like the right play, but it was wrong on this deal. East should have seen that his partner had to hold both black aces for the defence to have a chance. He should have held onto his king of hearts. Had he done so the defence would have prevailed even if West continued with a high heart after winning the ace of clubs. East would win and shift to the queen of spades, defeating the contract that way.


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:15:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/unblock/article34786838.ece

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