Both vulnerable. South deals.

Both vulnerable. South deals.
J 10 7 6
J 6 4
J 7 2
J 9 7 5 4 3
A 9 H-K 8 2
K 8 7 5 3 Q 9
9 5 4 3 K 10 8
10 8 6 2
Q 4 3
A 10 2
A Q 6
The bidding:
1 Pass 1 Pass
1NT Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Five of
Bridge is rife with maxims giving advice to both declarers and defenders. They are accurate for the most part, but do not cover specific cases. Think before you play!
We have no quibble with the first three bids, but we feel North's jump to three no trump was somewhat aggressive, especially when Zia Mahmood and Bob Hamman, two of the best defenders in the world, are sitting East and West, respectively. Change the queen of spades to the queen in any other suit and we would consider the bid more reasonable.
West led the five of diamonds, covered with the queen and taken with the ace. Declarer had a lot of work to do. He could not come to nine tricks without developing hearts, but he did not want East to win the first heart. He tried to accomplish that by crossing to the queen of spades in dummy and leading a low heart from the board. Taking the bidding into consideration, Zia decided that it was far more likely that his partner held a heart entry than one in clubs so, ignoring the "second-hand low" advice of the maxim, he rose with the king of hearts. When that held, the nine of diamonds to the king and a diamond back set up two tricks in the suit for the defense. No matter how the declarer continued, sooner or later West would gain the lead with the ace of hearts to cash the long diamonds and set the game.
& copy; 2006, Tribune Media Services
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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