~A NT Opener #1


H 98
D AK83
C KJ32

S 98
H AQ42
D 9542
C Q54

S AT542
H J3
D Q76

S Q86
H KT765
C 976

Bidding Commentary: With a balanced 15 HCP, North should open 1NT. With 10+ HCP and a 5-card spade suit, South should bid 2H (Jacoby Transfer). North dutifully bids 2S and now comes a critical bid. 3S is out because that would show a 6-card suit (the transfer showed five spades) and 8-9 HCP; 2NT is out because that bid would show 8-9 HCP. South correctly bids 3NT, showing 10+ HCP and limiting the spade suit to five cards. This bid gives North the option of playing 3NT or playing at 4S if holding three spades. North bids 4S.
Lead & Defense Commentary: Typical lead options for East are the 4th highest heart or the J of diamonds. E-W have two sure heart tricks.
Play Commentary: South has two heart losers, and possible losers in spades and clubs. The task is to determine how to play the trumps and when to lead diamonds. The hand should score 4H or 5H (10-11 tricks). In this case, there is a sure line of play. After winning two hearts, either East or West must lead, finessing either themselves or partner—or lead a heart, allowing for a slough or ruff, or trapping the trump Q. If E-W avoids that trap, take two trumps and then start leading diamonds; whoever trumps a diamond must finesse self or partner.


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