Both vulnerable. South deals.

Both vulnerable. South deals.
A 6
8 4 3 2
Q J 9 7
K 10 6
Q J 10 8 5 9 7 3
K 10 5 A 9
4 3 10 6 5 2
Q 9 7 J 8 4 2
K 4 2
Q J 7 6
A K 8
A 5 3
The bidding:
1NT Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Queen of
There are a myriad of maxims governing the play of a bridge hand. Some are excellent, other not so good. However, all have one thing in common -- they are generalities and cannot cover every situation.
Had North employed the Stayman convention, North-South would have reached four hearts -- a contract that cannot be defeated as the cards lie. However, on a slightly different distribution of the high cards four hearts might fail while three no trump is unbeatable, so we cannot fault North for his decision to try for the nine-trick game.
West led the top of his spade sequence. Declarer won in dummy with the ace and led a heart, and East played low. The contract could no longer be defeated. If West ducked, declarer had nine tricks -- two spades, one heart, four diamonds and two clubs. If West won with the king, he would have no entry to the good spades once they were established.
East should not have allowed this to happen. He can see 15 points in his hand and dummy. If he gives South the middle of his announced values -- 16 points -- that leaves partner with nine, three of which are in spades. Partner therefore has a likely entry to his hand. If it is in a minor suit, playing low on the heart lead is unlikely to cost. But what if it is in hearts? East must rise with the ace of hearts and clear the spades and, in the fullness of time, the game is defeated.
& copy; 2007 Tribune Media Services
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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