Bridge: Nov. 20, 2023

Posted on November 20, 2023

Many good books appeared this year, including John Carruthers’ delightful “Bridge with Another Perfect Partner” and “Twelve Important Bridge Lessons” by the prolific author David Bird. My 25th book, “Let’s Play Some Bridge,” was published recently; it’s a collection of pieces where you listen in on my thoughts in 80 deals.

Advancing players will profit from “The Magic of Defense” by Barbara Seagram, a noted teacher and author. In discussing planning the defense, Seagram uses today’s deal to illustrate the “forcing game” – making declarer ruff so many times that he loses control – and how a capable declarer might survive.


At four spades, South ruffs the third heart and leads high trumps. If West plays low twice, declarer can’t lead a third trump: West would win and lead a fourth heart, forcing out declarer’s last trump while West still had one.

Instead, declarer takes the Q-J of diamonds and the A-K of clubs. When West can’t ruff, South leads high diamonds, and West can score only his ace of trumps.

Baron Barclay has all books in print, educational software and bridge-related items for your favorite partner’s holiday gift. See


You hold: S 8 6 4 H 5 4 3 D Q J C A 10 9 3 2. Your partner opens one diamond, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: You must respond since partner could have as many as 20 points. If he has a hand with only 16 high-card points such as A32,6,AK1065,KQ84, you can make a slam at clubs. Bid 1NT. Your hand isn’t worth two clubs. It’s unpleasant to bid notrump with no sign of a stopper in either major suit, but the auction isn’t over until it’s over.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable


S 8 6 4

H 5 4 3


C A 10 9 3 2


S A 7 3 2

H K Q J 6 2

D 9 8

C 8 7


S 5

H A 9 8

D 7 6 4 3 2

C Q J 6 4


S K Q J 10 9

H 10 7

D A K 10 5

C K 5

South West North East

1 S 2 H 2 S 3 H

4 S All Pass

Opening lead – H K

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