Friday's bridge...

The results on this board from the Arthur Grandmasters pairs were slightly surprising. North opened 1H, and East overcalled 4S with his eight-card suit. What should South do now?

Those playing four-card majors argued that South lacks the values to take action. If he passes partner may be able to re-open with a double, and then he can consider whether to bid on, or take the money from 4S doubled. One South must have been disappointed when his partner also passed 4S – a very conservative call. The South who passed a re-opening double did not get rich either. The defence made four top winners and a club ruff for just two down.

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Where 1H was a five-card major South had a good case for bidding 5H. East decided 5S would probably be too expensive, and chose to defend. One North proceeded to 6H, and again East chose to defend. He led the king of spades, and declarer won in dummy, took the heart finesse, knocked out the ace of diamonds and claimed 12 tricks.

One East led his singleton diamond against 5H, and was gratified to get a ruff. He exited with the king of spades, leaving North with a difficult guess. Did East have two red singletons? Would a player with a singleton trump lead another singleton? Would a player with Kx in hearts do so? Should he finesse against the king of hearts, or play for the suit to break? If you get this sort of decision right you will do well. It was not North's day.

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