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Common Game 2018-08-21 Board 1
West
AJ52
AJ74
A105
Q10
North
Q843
52
Q982
KJ2
East
K109
K96
763
A974
South
76
Q1083
KJ4
8653
D
1
West
North
East
South
P
P
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Analysis by Fred Ferguson

Nothing fancy about the bidding on Board 1 this week, but the play is very interesting.

Bidding* After three passes, West with a balanced 16 high card points opens the bidding 1NT and East with game forcing values of 10 hcp and no 4-card or 5-card major bids 3NT.

Play* The bidding sequence 1NT - 3NT typically means the responder does not have a 5-card major (did not transfer) nor a 4-card major (did not bid Stayman). Such a sequence typically screams for the lead of a major suit. If North leads a spade it is all over, declarer (West) can easily find the Q and and win 4 spade tricks, then take a guess on the hearts making 9 or 10 tricks. If North is going to lead a major, North should lead the 5, partner's major suit.

If North leads a diamond on opening lead, however, as in the play here, West has some problems guessing on spades. With the 2 opening lead, the typical play is to duck 2 times winning the A on the third trick and proceed in the play which still makes West guess on the spades. But with the 2 lead, as in the play here, West can assume North has 4 diamonds and diamonds are 4-4-3-2, and thus plays the 10 on the first diamond trick, then wins the A on the second diamond trick and then exits his hand with the 5. After North cashes his fourth diamond North must now lead a spade, a heart or a club any of which helps West determine the lie of the remaining cards, making 3.

* Bridge Winners can see the bidding footnotes and the trick-by-trick play on: http://thecommongame.com

If you have a question or deal you would like to add to this week's analysis, email me or post questions on Bridge Winners.

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