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BRIDGE



Published: Fri, January 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

x A 8 6

u A K Q 6

v A

w A 10 8 6 3

WEST EAST

x 7 5 4 3 2 x Void

u J 7 2 u 10 8 4

v K Q 10 8 v J 9 5 3

w J w K Q 9 7 5 4

SOUTH

x K Q J 10 9

u 9 5 3

v 7 6 4 2

w 2

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

1w Pass 1x Pass

2u Pass 2x Pass

6x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Two of x

The rocks of distribution can ruin even the best of contracts. However, sometimes there is a way to avoid the shipwreck.

North's bidding might not be very pretty, but it was certainly effective. His hand was borderline for an artificial game force of two clubs, but the rebid over the probable two diamond response would have been awkward, bringing the bidding to the three-level. We like the one-club opening, and certainly cannot fault the rest of the auction.

An excellent contract became iffy when West led a trump and East discarded a club. There were only five side-suit winners and no long cards could be established without setting up a trump trick for West. To get home, declarer had to score seven trump tricks on a crossruff.

The first rule of crossruffing is to cash all your side-suit winners before embarking on the crossruff. After winning the first trick in hand, declarer cashed the three high hearts and the two minor-suit aces. Fortunately, West had to follow to all these tricks. The rest was routine. Declarer ruffed three clubs in hand and two diamonds in dummy as West underruffed helplessly. His total tricks were three hearts, two minor-suit aces, two ruffs in dummy and five trumps in hand.

Note that, without the trump lead, declarer can score eight trumps by ruffing. Therefore, declarer should then cash only two heart tricks to lessen the chance of West ruffing away a winner and then leading a trump.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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