Both vulnerable. North deals.
x A K 8
u 8 6 4 3
v J 8 7 5 3
w A
x J 9 4 2 x Q 7
u K Q J 9 u 7 5
v 9 4 v Q 10 2
w Q 6 2 w J 9 7 5 4 3
x 10 6 5 3
u A 10 2
v A K 6
w K 10 8
The bidding:
1v Pass 2NT Pass
3NT Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: King of u
Watch those entries. There is nothing worse than looking at the setting or fulfilling trick in one hand or the other, and having no entry to it. Here's an example.
We are in favor of responding two no trump on this balanced hand of 14 points and a dismal four-card spade suit. North's raise to game is textbook despite being slightly off-shape for no trump.
West led the king of hearts, both dummy and declarer following low as East started an echo with the seven. Declarer won the heart continuation with the ace and paused to take stock. There were seven fast tricks, and diamonds was the obvious suit to attack for the two extra tricks. However, suppose you play ace, king and another diamond. The suit breaks 3-2, as you need, but you have no entry back to your hand to cash the king of clubs. And you cannot afford to clear the ace and king of clubs before setting up the diamonds, because you are establishing club tricks for the defense and they might be able to defeat you.
The solution is simple, once you spot the problem. At trick three, lead a low diamond from hand! The defenders might be able to take two more hearts and exit with a spade, but you win, cash the ace of clubs, return to hand with the ace of diamonds to clear the two minor-suit kings, then return to the table with the remaining high spade to cash the long diamonds. Perfect.
& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.