Playing at the club this past week with my wife, Janet, I picked up the following uninspiring collection of cards:
Janet opened the bidding 1♦ and my right hand opponent (“RHO”) doubled. My bid.
My mentor and partner Zach Brescoll has always advised me to respond to an opening bid with an Ace and nothing else, but there are exceptions. One of them is when your right-hand opponent has made a take-out double. Hearing the take-out double, you know your partner will always have a chance to bid again and so you need not stretch your values to keep the bidding open to protect your partner in the event that partner has a very strong hand. Here, particularly, the takeout doubler is suggesting length in the majors and so neither of my two major suits look promising. Had my RHO passed, I would have responded 1♥ in a heartbeat, but not now. So I passed.
My LHO bid a quick 1♠, Janet bid 2♣, and my RHO raised to 2♠. This ended the bidding.
Here is the bidding:
After some thought, Janet led the ♠7 — a trump. The following dummy came down and declarer played the ♠K.
My turn. Time to plan a defense. What can I figure out from the bidding, opening lead, and the dummy?
Partner opened a diamond and then freely bid 2♣, suggesting a sound opening hand with either 5-4 or 4-5 in the minor suits. She made a passive trump lead, bringing to mind the old bridge adage — when in doubt, lead trump. The trump lead pretty much rules out her having started with the ♦AK or ♦KQ, as with either honor combination she has an easy opening lead of a high diamond. So I’m thinking she has the ♦AQxx(x) or ♦AJxx(x), with a high diamond honor being hidden in declarer’s hand. She probably has the ♥A and the ♣K — all holdings which she would be reluctant to lead away from, opting for the trump lead instead. That would give her an opening hand.
Given her likely diamond holding, she is obviously searching for a way to get to my hand to lead a diamond through declarer’s diamond honor. She would be delighted to learn that I have the ♣A, if I can tell her that I have it.
Is there any way to communicate my club holding to her? Think and then click on the link below to continue.