In the search for interesting hands we look for lessons, and this hand can teach us about bidding and play. The north hand looks drab until partner opens 1 notrump and then responds to a stayman bid showing a four card heart suit. Now the hand has lots of potential despite the lack of honor cards and while Craig's 4 heart bid was a little aggressive, the time to be adventurous is when you have a good fit. The lead of the ace of clubs got declarer off to a good start, but alas he lost sight of the need to maintain trump control and misplayed the hand, losing 50 points.
The hand should make 4, losing only 2 hearts and the ace of diamonds. Since there are 2 certain trump losers if the outstanding hearts divide 3-2, as they will most of the time, the play is to duck a heart. Trump the opening lead, lead a heart off the board and pass the trick. Now the west player has to give the lead back no matter what he leads, so play the ace of hearts and start to run spades. The defender with the last trump will have to trump in at some point, but there is still a heart left on dummy to get back to the rest of the spades. Now if the defenders don't cash the diamond ace they will lose it and the 2 obvious heart losers will be the only tricks lost. Perhaps the sad lesson is that the players in 4 spades, technically an inferior contract, made 4.
We are looking forward to the tournament July 22 through 24 at the AmeriTel Spectrum Hotel at Overland and Cole. There will be events for all players and you are invited to participate. Call tournament chairman Gary Crupper at 345-7910.
You can also play bridge six days a week at the Boise Bridge Club. Call Craig Jones or Ian Martindale at 345-3314.