Source: ACBL During each day of the NABC, Eddie Kantar, one of the best American bridge authors, explains one bridge hand, for players who want to improve their bridge. This is the sixth hand of St Louis NABC 2013: 1NT overcall and the surrounding play.
7 6 Heart Suit J 7 6 Diamond Suit K J 10 6 Q J 10 8
9 5 Heart Suit 8 4 3 Diamond Suit 8 7 3 2 A 6 4 3 A K 4 3 2 Heart Suit A Q 10 5 Diamond Suit 9 5 7 5
Q J 10 8 Heart Suit K 9 2 Diamond Suit A Q 4 K 9 2
West North East South
1 1NT
Pass 2NT The End

Opening Lead: 9

Bidding commentary: As South, with only 15 HCP, you really need a double stopper in the opener’s suit to overcall 1NT. You do. As North, your raise to 2NT shows 8-9 HCP. As South, after partner digs up a raise to 2NT, you have the fastest pass in history. Lead commentary: As East, it is clear partner has led from shortness. With 9-x-x in spades, an unsupported suit, partner leads low. Defensive commentary: As East, there is no future in spades, so turn your attention to hearts. Assuming declarer has the king, the  proper card to lead is the queen, a surrounding play. You have the jack surrounded with the queen and the 10 plus a higher unequal honor, the ace. Declarer takes the king, but when partner gets in with the A, his heart return gives your side three hearts tricks to go along with the top two spades and the A. Down one. When the dummy to your right has the J-x-x and you have A-Q-10-(x), attack with the queen. If you lead low and declarer has K-x-x, declarer plays low and takes two tricks. If you lead the queen, declarer gets one. When dummy to your right has the 10 x (x) and you have A J 9 (x) or K J 9 (x), attack with the jack. When dummy to your right has the 9 x (x) and you have K 10 8 (x) or Q 10 8 (x), start with the 10. The common denominator of these three surrounding plays is having the dummy’s jack, 10 or 9 perfectly surrounded by a higher and a lower card plus a higher non-equal honor. Don’t forget to follow us @