North-South vulnerable. South deals.
A Q J 9 5
9 6 5 4
5 4 2
10 8 7 4 K 3
Q 10 8 2 K J 7
A 9 8 7 J 10 6 5 4
3 9 8 6
K Q 2
A K Q J 10 7
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
1 Pass 1 Pass
3NT Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: Two of
For the most part, trust those players sitting to the right and left of you. They are basically nice people who are more intent on describing their hand to partner than to fool you! With nothing else to guide you, believe their signaling and leads. Consider this deal.
After a one-club opening and a one-spade response, South had no clear-cut rebid. The hand is far too strong for three clubs and, while it is in the point range for two no trump, it might be passed when you need only one trick from partner to get home. Three no trump certainly overcomes both those objections.
West led a fourth-best deuce of hearts and East's king was allowed to hold. Declarer won the continuation of the jack and had to decide how to proceed. He had eight fast tricks and had to choose whether to try for the ninth via a spade finesse or whether to lead the king of diamonds, setting up the queen as the fulfilling trick.
If declarer believes the opening lead, the defenders have only three heart tricks. Taking the spade finesse unnecessarily jeopardizes the contract. Lead the king of diamonds and the defense can complete their book but no more. You cash out the last eight tricks to go with the ace of hearts already in the bank.
Suppose East-West are playing fifth-best leads, would you play the same way? Only if you want to go down! Now the defenders might be able to take four heart tricks and the ace of diamonds. You have to try the spade finesse and hope it works.
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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