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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, February 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



BRIDGE

North-South vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

x -Void

u -A Q 5 4

v -Q 8 7 6

w -A K 7 4 3

WEST EAST

x -J 10 8 4 x -K Q 6 5 3 2

u -J 9 3 u -K 8 7

v -K 5 v -A

w -Q 9 5 2 w -J 10 6

SOUTH

x -A 9 7

u -10 6 2

v -J 10 9 4 3 2

w -8

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

1w 1x 3v 3x

5v Pass Pass Dbl

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Jack of x

Looking at all four hands, it might seem that declarer has three unavoidable losers -- two trumps and a heart. But a magician in the South seat can pull a disappearing act.

South's jump to three diamonds over the one-spade overcall was preemptive. After West's spade raise, North's leap to five diamonds was a two-way action. It might make and, should East-West bid on, they could be taking a phantom save.

West led the jack of spades, declarer winning with the ace while discarding a heart from dummy. The ace and king of clubs were cashed for a heart discard from hand, and a club was ruffed. Declarer returned to dummy with a spade ruff and led another club. East discarded the seven of hearts (ruffing with the ace would permit declarer to discard a heart) and declarer ruffed. Another spade ruff provided the entry to lead the remaining club. Again, ruffing would not help East, who discarded a spade. Declarer sluffed his remaining heart loser as West ruffed with the five and switched to a heart.

Declarer rose with dummy's ace and led a trump, and the ace and king crashed on the same trick. Declarer claimed the rest, losing only one trump trick and the club ruff.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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