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Neither vulnerable. North deals.



Published: Sat, January 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neither vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

x 6 4

u Q 6 2

v J

w A K Q J 10 8 4

WEST EAST

x 10 9 8 5 3 x J

u 9 4 u A K 10 7 5

v 8 7 5 2 v 10 6 4 3

w 7 3 w 9 5 2

SOUTH

x A K Q 7 2

u J 8 3

v A K Q 9

w 6

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

3NT Pass 6NT Pass

Pass Dbl 7w Pass

Pass Dbl Pass Pass

Pass

Opening lead: Ten of x

Be careful about making conventional bids with a strange partner. You might not be on the same wavelength. Consider this deal.

North's three no trump was what is known as "gambling." There are several versions of this. One, obviously played by North, was that it promised a solid seven-card minor with no stoppers in the outside suits. Another, of which South was a devotee, was that it promised stoppers in at least one of the side suits, hence the raise to six no trump. When East doubled, South realized that the opening leader held the ace and king of hearts, so corrected to seven clubs, shifting the opening lead to West. Having already done the damage, East compounded it with another double.

Pity poor West's plight. He knew his partner probably had a couple of fast tricks in one of the suits, but had no idea in which of the three although a major was likely. After gazing helplessly at the ceiling, West elected to lead a spade. Declarer claimed 13 tricks A silly attempt to gain 300 points cost more than 1,500.

This debacle reminds us of a hand reported by S.J. Simon many years ago where West, on lead against seven no trump and holding two aces, elected to lead a low card from his long suit. Declarer won the first 12 tricks and, on the 12th, West had to decide which ace to discard. Naturally, he parted with the wrong ace and the grand slam rolled home. Simon's closing comment is a classic to this day: "If West did not intend leading one of his aces, he had no sound reason for doubling seven no trump!"

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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