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BRIDGE



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

x -A 4

u -A 7 2

v -9 4 2

w -K J 7 5 3

WEST EAST

x -K Q 10 8 6 2 x -J 9

u -Q 4 u -10 9 8 5

v -K Q J 8 6 v -10 7 5 3

w -Void w -9 8 4

SOUTH

x -7 5 3

u -K J 6 3

v -A

w -A Q 10 6 2

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1w 1x 2x Pass

3u 4v 4x Pass

6w Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

The right way to play a suit combination can depend on the previous tricks. Consider this deal.

North's spade cue-bid was a limit raise or better in clubs. Since South's opening might have been made on a three-card suit, by implication it promised five-card support. South showed his second suit and North cue-bid spades again, now showing a forcing raise in clubs and first-round spade control. South decided that the hands fitted well and, with a hand only barely better than minimum, opted for the club slam.

Had West led the king of spades, this deal might never have seen the light of day. That would have set up a spade trick for the defense and, with the heart queen offside, the contract was doomed to fail when declarer takes the normal line of a heart finesse.

The opening lead of the king of diamonds gave South two additional chances to land the slam -- either a 3-3 heart break or a doubleton queen of hearts in either defender's hand. The opening lead was won in hand perforce and three rounds of trumps were drawn. Declarer cashed the king of hearts and continued with a heart to the ace. When the queen appeared, declarer had 12 tricks.

What if the queen had not dropped? Declarer would have continued with a heart toward the jack. If East followed with the queen, the jack would take care of the spade loser. If the defender followed low, declarer would insert the jack and, if that lost to the queen, the 13th heart would take care of the spade loser.

& copy;2005 Tribune Media Services




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