Neither vulnerable. South deals.


x4 3 2


vQ 10 8 7 5 3

wK Q J


xK Q J 7 5x10 9

uK J 5 3 2uQ 9 8 4

vVoidv9 4

w10 7 5wA 9 4 3 2


xA 8 6

u10 7 6

vA K J 6 2

w8 6

The bidding:




Opening lead: King of x

Here’s another deal from Eddie Kantar’s excellent series “Thinking Bridge,” designed for players desirous of improving their game.

“West’s two diamonds is a Michael’s cue-bid, showing 5-5 or 6-5 in the majors (either way) with typically 7-11 high-card points. North has a choice of responses. One is to leap to five diamonds, another is to cue-bid two hearts, one of the opponent’s known suits, showing a strong hand with diamonds. A third is to make a game-forcing jump in one of their suits to show a singleton in that suit with great support -- no point in bidding hearts naturally when West is known to have at least five.

“Even though East has shown hearts, dummy has shown control and a spade lead stands out like a beacon.

“From declarer’s perspective, the spade position is recurring. It is very likely that the suit is breaking 5-2. If so, by winning the second spade you cut the communications between the East-West hands. Observe.

“You win the second spade, draw trumps and drive out the ace of clubs. East wins, but he has no spade to return, so you can discard a spade on a high club. If you win the first spade (ugh!), East can return a spade on winning the club ace and now you lose two spades and a club.

“The general rule when playing a trump contract holding A-x-x facing x-x-x in the suit that has been led is to win the second round of the suit.”

To learn more about Kantar products, go to

2009 Tribune Media Services