Maritha Pottenger

When you have a long trump suit, it may be a major source of transportation, particularly if Dummy is rather weak. Keeping one or two small cards in your trump suit may be imperative.


You hold: 953 J KJ9873 AQ10. RHO opens 1 and you overcall 2. LHO passes and partner raises you to 3.

Lead is the J and Dummy produces: KQ A954 654 8652.

You play a spade. RHO takes JA and returns the 7 as LHO follows with the 6. You play the 4 and RHO takes Ace and leads the 10. Your most important play was to play the 9, 8, or the 7 under RHO's the A! You need to keep your precious the 3 as a possible entry to Dummy's 6.

Since RHO has just led the 10, you expect that LHO is ruffing, as she does indeed with the 10 and returns the 6 (as requested by her partner's the 10—suit preference when giving partner a ruff). You rise the A and play a low club to the Q, expecting RHO to have the K. Alas, LHO takes the K and returns a heart to partner's Q. (RHO dropped the K under the Ace.) You duly ruff that heart with the 9, 8, or the 7, retaining your precious the 3. You play the K, dropping the now bare Q on your left.

Your the 3 goes to the 6 on Dummy and you play a club to your 10 to rack in nine tricks and a plus score.

Unless you plan from the beginning to cherish that precious the 3, you will go down one, losing a second club trick in the end game.