Tangled Webb


When I watched today’s deal in a money game, South was Tom Webb, known to us all as “Tangle” because he encounters more blocked suits and entry woes than anyone else in my club.

Dlr: South ♠ 9
Vul: All J 10 9 3
A 10 9 8
♣ A J 6 3
♠ K 10 8 7 4 3 ♠ J 5 2
A Q 8 7 6 5 2
J Q 7
♣ K 8 2 ♣ Q 10 9 4
♠ A Q 6
K 4
K 6 5 4 3 2
♣ 7 5
West North East South
1♠ Dbl Pass 2
Pass 2♠ Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
All Pass

Opening lead ♠7

West led a spade against 3NT (North’s double was “negative”), and Tangle won with the queen. He took the A-K of diamonds and then the 10 and nine, but the suit was blocked. So Tangle tried to return to his hand by leading a heart to his king.

West took the ace and led the deuce of clubs, and East won with the nine and returned a club to the king and ace. Declarer next led dummy’s jack of hearts, but West won, and the defense got two more clubs for down one.


Tangle got tangled up, as usual. To make 3NT he can lead the six of spades at Trick Two, pitching a diamond from dummy.

If West returns the king of spades (no other lead is better), Tangle discards another blocking diamond from dummy and takes the ace. He can cash the A-K of diamonds and four more diamonds to land the contract.


You hold: ♠K 10 8 7 4 3    A Q 8   J    ♣ K 8 2. You open 1♠, your partner bids 2, you raise to 3 and he tries 4♣. What do you say?

You raised to 3 because partner’s response promised five or more hearts. His 4♣ shows the ace and slam interest, and since you have good trumps, you can encourage. Bid 4. To cue-bid a singleton is unusual but is an economical call here.