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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, February 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neither vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x 7 6 4 2

u 9 5

v K Q J

w 8 5 4 3

WEST EAST

x J 10 8 3 x 9 5

u 10 7 u 8 6 4

v 9 8 6 4 v 10 7 5 3 2

w J 7 2 w K 10 9

SOUTH

x A K Q

u A K Q J 3 2

v A

w A Q 6

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

2wPass 2v Pass

6u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Jack of x

In the hurly-burly of cut-around rubber bridge at a club, there is little time spent discussing conventions. Frequently you cut a player with whom you have seldom played, and then you might have to bid by the seat of your pants.

The first two bids were routine these days. Even for experienced bidders it is not easy to find out whether North has, specifically, the king of clubs. A cue-bidding sequence might have uncovered this information but, rather than risk having a complicated auction go off the rails, South simply opted for the small slam in hearts. After all, that needed no more than the jack of clubs or, failing that, a lucky distribution in clubs, to land 12 tricks.

West led the jack of spades, and dummy had good news and bad. The good news was that dummy held the three diamond honors. The bad news was that there was no side entry to dummy and, because of South's singleton ace in the suit, dummy's assets were likely to wither on the vine.

However, it took only a cursory study of the table's assets to determine that there was hidden gold that might be mined. All it needed was for West to hold the ten of hearts!

Declarer won the opening lead with the ace, cashed the ace of diamonds and led a low heart from hand! West was helpless. If the defender followed low, dummy would win with the nine and the high diamonds would take care of declarer's losing clubs. But rising with the ten proved no better. Declarer would win any return and the remaining low heart led to the table's nine was the entry to put the winning diamonds to good use for two club discards.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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