North-South vulnerable. North deals.
-A K 5 4
-Q 8 7 6
-Q J 2
-Q J 9 3 -8 7 6 2
-J 4 3 2 -9
-10 3 -9 7 4
-9 6 5 -A J 8 7 3
-A K 10 5
-A K 8 6 5
-K Q 4
NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST
1 Pass 1H Pass
2 Pass 4NT Pass
5 Pass 6H Pass
Opening lead: Queen of
There are some hands where a declarer playing in an expert game is twice as likely to go down as a club player. Consider this deal.
Opening one diamond is standard when playing five-card majors. Once South's one-heart response was raised to two hearts, South launched into Blackwood and settled in the small slam on learning an ace was missing.
West led the queen of spades taken with the king. Declarer led a low heart from the table and captured East's nine with the king. Now let's suppose that West held a singleton low heart and East held J 9 x x. The expert defensive play by East is to follow smoothly with the nine when declarer leads a low heart from dummy. That is to make declarer think that East holds a singleton and therefore continue with the king from hand.
The average club player takes little notice of this and it is simply a tossup which trump he leads next. The expert declarer knows that a top-class defender will play the nine from the four-card holding, and there is nothing he likes less than having the wool pulled over his eyes by a fellow expert. In this particular event, more than half the declarers presumed they were being taken for a ride, and continued by leading a trump to the queen -- down one!
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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