Both vulnerable. South deals.
x -A 9 7 5 3 2
u -7 5
v -10 5
w -A 8 2
x -J 10 6 4 x -8
u -K 6 u -Q 9 8 4 3 2
v -K 4 3 v -J 6 2
w -K 10 6 4 w -J 9 5 3
x -K Q
u -A J 10
v -A Q 9 8 7
w -Q 7 3
The bidding:
1v Pass 1x Pass
2NT Pass 3x Pass
3NT Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: Four of w
The shoals of distribution can wreck the unwary declarer. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by a seemingly impregnable holding.
Playing a 15-17 point range for one no trump, South's first two bids showed a balanced hand of 18-20. Contrary to what you might think, North's three spades is not a "drop dead" bid with a weak hand; it offers partner a choice of three no trump or four spades, and could even be the first move in a slam-going auction.
West led a low club against three no trump and, if spades were 3-2, it would simply be a matter of how many overtricks declarer would make. But what if spades broke 4-1? At the cost of an overtrick, South found a line that offered an additional chance.
Declarer played low from dummy at trick one and captured East's jack with the queen. The king of spades was cashed and the queen of spades was overtaken with the ace. Had East followed suit, declarer would have surrendered a spade and the ace of clubs would have been the entry to cash out the suit.
When East discarded a heart on the second spade, declarer abandoned the suit and ran the ten of diamonds. Even if the king and jack of diamonds were reversed, with the ace of clubs providing an entry to the table to repeat the diamond finesse, an even split in the suit would net declarer four tricks and nine tricks in all.
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& copy; 2004, Tribune Media Services

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