East-West vulnerable. South deals.
xA K 10
uA K 8 3
v7 5 4 2
w8 4
x7 6 x9 8 5 3 2
u6 4 uQ J 10 9
vJ 10 8 vK 9
wK J 9 5 3 2 wQ 10
xQ J 4
u7 5 2
vA Q 6 3
wA 7 6
The bidding:
1v Pass 1u Pass
1NT Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Five of w
Study the diagram, then decide: Would you rather play or defend three no trump after the lead of the five of clubs?
The auction was routine. Once South had shown a balanced, minimum opening bid, there was no point to North showing diamond support. Three no trump was the logical rebid.
West leads the five of clubs and East's queen is allowed to hold. You duck the continuation of the ten (yes, we know that, double dummy, you can win with the ace and make the contract, but that would lose if West started with only five clubs and East has three); West overtakes and continues with a club to your ace as East discards a spade. You cross to the king of spades and lead a diamond, finessing the queen when West follows low. When that wins, cross back to dummy and lead another diamond, allowing the king to hold. You cannot be stopped from collecting nine tricks.
However, don't be in too much of a hurry to declare. Suppose that, on the third round of clubs, East jettisons the king of diamonds! (No, that's not double dummy; if declarer holds the queen of diamonds, the king is dead anyway.) Now West's jack of diamonds becomes an entry and the contract must fail. Well defended!
& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

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