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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, July 12, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x -A K Q 5 4

u -10 5 3

v -9 4 2

w -10 3

WEST EAST

x -J 8 7 2 x -10 9 6

u -A K Q 9 8 6 u -7 4 2

v -A 10 3 v -8 7 5

w -Void w -J 8 7 5

SOUTH

x -3

u -J

v -K Q J 6

w -A K Q 9 6 4 2

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1w 1u 1x Pass

3w 3u 3x Pass

5w Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of u

Unless you think your opponents have taken leave of their senses, there are certain logical inferences that can be taken from their actions. Consider this deal.

South handled the auction well, concealing the second suit to make it as difficult as possible for the opponents to draw a picture of his distribution. But that should not have made any difference to the defense.

West led the king of hearts and East followed with a low heart to show an odd number of cards in the suit -- in this case obviously three cards. West continued with the queen of hearts, and the hand was over. Declarer cashed the ace of clubs, unblocking the 10 from dummy when West showed out. South crossed to the table with the queen of spades, cashed the king for a diamond discard and then led the remaining club, finessing the nine. The rest of the trumps were drawn and a diamond was conceded to West and declarer claimed the rest.

The contract should have been defeated. West has available the knowledge that trumps are not breaking, something declarer does not know. In addition, continuing hearts was futile -- on this auction, South does not have the sort of trump suit that can be compromised by a forcing game.

To justify his bidding, South must have the missing diamond honors. West can see two tricks -- the red aces -- and the setting trick must come from trumps. The only hope is for West to try to remove declarer's dummy entries before they can be put to good use. At trick two West must shift to a spade. As the card lie, that will surely sink the contract. Declarer will win the spade, discard a diamond on another high spade and then lead a trump, playing high from hand and so losing a trump trick -- down one. If South takes a first-round trump finesse, East must learn to hold his cards back.

& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services




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