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Published: Thu, February 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Both vulnerable. South deals.


x -Q 10 8 4 2

u -A 7 4

v -Q 2

w -A K 7


x -9 3 x -6

u -9 u -Q J 10 5

v -A J 9 6 v -8 7 4 3

w -Q J 10 9 8 3 w -6 5 4 2


x -A K J 7 5

u -K 8 6 3 2

v -K 10 5

w -Void

The bidding:


1x 2w 3w5w

5u Pass 6x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of w

In the course of play, South used information obtained from the auction to make one of the defender's tricks vanish. Can you do equally well?

North's three-club cue-bid showed a limit raise or better in spades. That improved South's hand enormously, and he introduced his second suit at the five-level. Since there was no way that, missing the ace of hearts, South could bid that way without first- or second-round control of diamonds, North bid the small slam.

West led the queen of clubs, and it would seem that declarer could not avoid losing a trick in each red suit. However, the auction made it almost a sure thing that West held the ace of diamonds, and that was all South needed to bring home his slam.

The first move was to play low from dummy on the opening lead of the queen of clubs and ruff in hand. Then declarer led a low diamond, and West's goose was cooked. If the defender played low, dummy's queen would win. Declarer would draw trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy and then cash the ace and king of clubs for two diamond discards from hand. The high hearts would be cleared and a heart conceded and, after a heart on the table, declarer would take the rest of the tricks.

Rising with the ace of diamonds on the first lead of the suit was no better. In that case, declarer would win any return, draw trumps, cash the queen of diamonds and ace-king of clubs, discarding two hearts from hand, then the ace and king of hearts and king of diamonds, discarding dummy's remaining heart. Declarer then ruffs the heart loser. The only difference would be that, in this line, declarer loses a diamond instead of a heart.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services


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