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BRIDGE



Published: Fri, February 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. West deals.

NORTH

x -A 7 5 4

u -K 6 3

v -10 4 2

w -7 6 4

WEST EAST

S-K Q J 10 9 8 6 3 S-Void

H-10 8 4 H-Q J 9 72

D-Void D-8 6 3

C-K 5 C-Q J 10 8 3

SOUTH

S-2

H-A 5

D-A K Q J 9 7 5

C-A 9 2

The bidding:

WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH

4x Pass Pass 5v

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of x

Here's another deal composed by Eddie Kantar for players attending the Fall North American Championships who were eager to improve their game. How would you fare?

With a good eight-card major and a potential side-suit trick, to open anything less than four spades at any vulnerability would be chicken. Unfortunately, South had a good enough hand with a strong suit to brush aside West's opening preempt.

West led the king of spades and, if South plays the ace by rote, the hand is over at the first trick. East will ruff and, in the fullness of time, declarer will concede two club tricks. South has telescoped 11 tricks into 10.

Since a four-level preempt usually shows an eight-card suit, South should be aware of the possibility of East ruffing the first spade. The ace of spades is a trick declarer cannot afford to waste, so South must protect his holding by switching losers.

At trick one, declarer must play low from dummy, conceding the trick to West. No matter what West does next, declarer wins, draws trumps and then crosses to the table to discard a losing club on the ace of spades. Instead of losing two club tricks, declarer concedes one trick in each black suit.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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