North-South vulnerable. South deals.

North-South vulnerable. South deals.
x 10 3
u A 7 2
v 10 9 6
w J 10 6 4 3
x A 9 8 4 2 x Q J 6
u 10 6 3 u Q 9 8 4
v A Q 5 v 8 7 3 2
w 9 2 w A 5
x K 7 5
u K J 5
v K J 4
w K Q 8 7
The bidding:
1NT Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: Four of x
By and large, bridge columns feature hands that are played in game or slam. Usually, they are more dramatic than partscores and the key play occurs earlier, making the hand easier to describe in the space constraints available to bridge columnists. As a result, many interesting deals like this one are lost.
There is nothing to the auction. South held a balanced 16 points and opened one no trump and, since none of the other hands had enough to act, that became the final contract.
West led a low spade and East's jack lost to declarer's king. The king of clubs forced out West's ace, and a spade was returned to East's queen. The "automatic" return would have been a spade, and the contract would have coasted home. Declarer would have collected four clubs and two hearts to go with the spade trick already banked, and the deal would have been forgotten.
East was made of sterner stuff. With dummy's club suit established, East saw the need for fast tricks if the defense was to prevail. Dummy's ace of hearts made it impossible to exploit that suit, so East shifted to a diamond. The defenders were able to collect a club trick, two diamonds and four spades for a one-trick set.
& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

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