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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, January 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

x K 10 4

u K Q 10

v A Q J

w Q 10 9 2

WEST EAST

x 8 7 5 2 x 6

u 7 4 u A 5 2

v 10 7 5 2 v K 9 8 4

w A J 6 w K 8 5 4 3

SOUTH

x A Q J 9 3

u J 9 8 6 3

v 6 3

w 7

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

1NT Pass 3x Pass

3NT Pass 4u Pass

4S Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Two of v

The less the opponents know about your side's assets, the better. The more they know, the easier it is for them to find a way to beat you.

There is little good we can think of to describe North's decision to rebid three no trump. With a maximum no-trump opening and good three-card support, a cue-bid of four diamonds would be the right way to describe the holding. Four spades would still have been the final contract, but South would not have drawn a blueprint of his holding.

West led a low diamond, covered by the jack and won with the king. South is marked with at least 10 cards in the majors by the auction, so there is at most one more trick available in the minor suits and one in hearts. The setting trick would have to come in trumps.

The first task is for the defenders to take any club tricks that are due to them. However, suppose East returns a low club. West will win with the ace and return a club, but declarer inserts dummy's ten, ruffs out East's ace, draws trumps and, after forcing out the ace of hearts, claims the rest of the tricks.

Fortunately for the defense, East was up to the challenge. At trick two the defender led the king of clubs and, when that won, continued with a club, forcing declarer to ruff, and control of the hand passed to the defenders. On gaining the lead with the ace of hearts, East can lead another club and West will have a long trump, which he cannot be prevented from scoring since he can ruff the third round of hearts.

Note, however, that the contract can always be made if South rises with the ace of diamonds at trick one. Try it.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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