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BRIDGE



Published: Thu, August 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x A

u K J 2

v J 8 6 5 3 2

w A Q 10

WEST EAST

x 10 9 7 2 x 8 5 4 3

u Q 7 4 u 9 8 6

v K 10 9 4 v Void

w 7 6 w 9 8 5 4 3 2

SOUTH

x K Q J 6

u A 10 5 3

v A Q 7

w K J

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

2NT Pass 4w Pass

4x Pass 5w Pass

5x Pass 6NT Pass

PassPass

Opening lead: 10 of x

A viciously bad break in a key suit complicated declarer's life on this deal. Fortunately, South had the technique to recover from the blow.

The auction was simple. South's two no trump opener showed a balanced 20-22, and North's club bids were the Gerber Convention, asking for aces and kings. When North learned that one king was missing, he settled for six no trump.

West led the 10 of spades, and it seemed that life would be simple. Declarer could lose a diamond trick and still get home with five diamonds and seven tricks in the other suits. Declarer won the opening lead with dummy's ace and immediately led a diamond. When East discarded a club, the diamonds could not be set up without surrendering two tricks in the suit.

A resourceful declarer found a way out of his predicament. He rose with the ace of diamonds and immediately returned a low diamond. West could not rise with the king -- that would set up the suit for South. The nine of diamonds was taken with the jack.

Declarer returned to hand with the jack of clubs and led a low heart to the jack, taking the finesse into the safe hand. Had that lost to the queen, East could not hurt declarer -- South would have scored four spade tricks, three hearts, two diamonds and three clubs -- 12 in all. When the jack held and the suit broke evenly, declarer actually ended up with an overtrick.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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