Both vulnerable. North deals.

Both vulnerable. North deals.
x Q J 4
u A K 9 8 5 3
v 7
w 8 3 2
x 7 3 2 x 10 9 8 5
u Q 4 u J 10 6
v A 10 8 3 2 v Q 9 4
w Q 9 6 w K J 5
x A K 6
u 7 2
v K J 6 5
w A 10 7 4
The bidding:
2u Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Three of v
Think before you play to the first trick. If you don't plan your play immediately, it might be too late when you get around to it.
North's hand was about maximum for a vulnerable opening weak two-bid. South elected to bid three no trump rather than four hearts to protect against a possible lead through the king of diamonds.
Against three no trump, West led a low diamond, and South captured East's queen with the king. Since heart tricks would be needed to fulfill the contract, declarer cashed the ace and king of hearts and conceded a heart. Unfortunately it was East who won the third heart, and the diamond nine through the jack sealed declarer's fate -- down one.
With a little care, declarer could have avoided that sad fate. East was the danger hand, and had to be kept off lead. That could be accomplished as the cards lie. After winning the first trick with the king of diamonds, declarer leads a low heart and, when West follows low, wins with the king in dummy. Declarer returns to hand with the king of spades and leads another heart. When West follows with the queen, South allows him to hold the trick, setting up the suit. There is no way the defenders can prevent South from making the game with an overtrick.
& 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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