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BRIDGE



Published: Wed, February 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. East deals.

NORTH

x A 5 2

u Q J 9 2

v J 10 8 3

w 10 6

WEST EAST

x 8 3 x Q 10 9 7 4

u 6 4 u A 8 5

v 9 5 4 2 v A 7

w Q 9 8 5 3 w K 7 2

SOUTH

x K J 6

u K 10 7 3

v K Q 6

w A J 4

The bidding:

EAST SOUTH WEST NORTH

1x NTPass2NT

Pass 3NT Pass Pass

Pass

Opening lead: Five of w

It is written in the good book that it is more blessed to give than to receive. That can be as true at the bridge table as in life.

South's one-no-trump overcall showed the equivalent of a no-trump opening bid. North's raise was invitational and South upgraded his spade honors, making the hand a maximum and worth a raise to game.

We are not admirers of partners who, instead of leading the major we bid, opt to attack with a ratty five-card minor and no side entry. Here, however, it did no harm since the contract could not have been defeated with a spade lead. East produced the king of clubs and, since dummy's ten of clubs guaranteed South a second stopper in the suit, declarer won with the ace. A heart was led to the queen and ace, and a club was returned, West ducking and table's ten winning the trick. Declarer cashed out the hearts and then led a diamond. East grabbed the ace and played his remaining club, and West collected three clubs tricks for a one-trick set.

East was marked with the two red aces by his opening bid, so a touch of generosity on South's part would have landed the contract. By holding up the ace until the third round, declarer scores only one club trick, but West's long clubs are as dead as dodos. In the fullness of time declarer collects three spade tricks via a finesse, three hearts, three diamonds and a club.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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