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I received an email from the Boca Grande Duplicate Bridge Club asking me to check out their post-mortem analysis done by Allan Graves on the Florida Unit 128 STAC hands. Since I'd played on Feb 15th at my local club, I was excited to see what he wrote about the hands.

On board 7, I faced the following bidding problem:

North
8
Q4
AQJ752
10742
W
N
E
S
2
3
?

What would you do?

My first instinct was to raise to 3, although it seemed likely that the opponents would end up in their (at least) 9-card spade fit (partner usually won't have 4 spades for the 2 call). If the opponents did compete in spades, I would definitely prefer that my partner leads a diamond instead of a heart. So I chose to bid 3, figuring this low-risk lead director could help us greatly on defense. It did, in a most surprising way...

(Click NEXT in the diagram below to view the cardplay, one trick at a time)

West
1097
J73
6
AKQJ98
North
8
Q4
AQJ752
10742
East
AKQ653
106
K983
3
South
J42
AK9852
104
65
W
N
E
S
2
3
3
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
6
A
3
1
1
0
4
6
K
3
3
2
0
A
7
Q
10
3
3
0
9
J
8
4

After I ruffed with the 8, declarer now had a trump loser in the J.

Allan's Vu-Bridge presentation of this board can be found by choosing board 7.He demonstrates how much more difficult this defense was after the A lead.

While I think the 3 bid was an intelligent action, I never imagined it would help in this way. I guess this is a good time to just smile and pretend I knew what I was doing!

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