North-South vulnerable. South deals.
Q J 10 4
A J 8 2
A 3 2
A 9 8 5 7 6 3 2
5 4 3
10 5 4 Q 9 8 7 6
K Q 7 6 5 3 2
K Q 10 9 7 6
A 10 9 8
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
1 Pass 3 Pass
4NT Pass 5 Pass
6 Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: King of
When defending an opposing contract below the level of slam, you indicate attitude on partner's opening lead -- whether you like the suit led or not. Against a slam contract, however, it is more important to give count, so that partner will know whether there are tricks to be had in the suit led or whether to switch the attack.
North had a classic forcing jump raise of partner's one-heart opening bid -- opening-bid values, good four-card trump support, two first-round controls and a ruffing value. South checked on aces and settled in the small slam on learning one was missing.
West led the king of clubs and East followed with the two, showing an odd number of cards in the suit and marking declarer with at least one more cards in the suit. With any other lead, declarer would have had time to force out the ace of spades and take as many club discards as necessary on the table's spades. Now, however, it was time for urgent countermeasures.
Declarer won the first trick with the ace of clubs, drew two rounds of trumps ending in dummy and led a low diamond, finessing the jack. When that held, declarer cashed the king, crossed back to the board to cash the ace of diamonds, discarding the king of spades from hand. Now it was a simple matter to lead the jack of clubs, conceding a trick to the queen and claiming the rest.
This column is written by Tannah Hirsch and Omar Sharif. For information about Charles Goren's newsletter for bridge players, call (800) 788-1225 or write Goren Bridge Letter, P.O. Box 4410, Chicago, Ill. 60680
& copy;2006, Tribune Media Services
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