North-South vulnerable. North deals.

North-South vulnerable. North deals.
K 7 4
K 3
Q J 5 4
K J 8 5
J Q 10 9 6 2
Q J 10 9 7 4 2 8 5
K 8 7 6 3 2
9 4 3 A 6
A 8 5 3
A 6
A 10 9
Q 10 7 2
The bidding:
1 Pass 1 3
Pass Pass 3NT Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Queen of
You can usually do little about stopping the opponents from setting up their long suit. But you can often neutralize the suit by attacking the entries to it. Consider this deal.
North's pass over three hearts showed a minimum opening bid with no clear-cut action. That posed a problem for South, His almost all-prime balanced responding hand with 14 high-card points provided no source of tricks other than in partner's suit and only one stopper in the enemy suit. Still, there was no better alternative to three no trump, and that became the final contract.
West led the queen of hearts, and declarer's problem was self-evident. Both minor suits would have to be tackled if declarer was to come to nine tricks, giving two possible entries to the West hand. If East held both, West was entryless; if West held both, there was no way to make the contract. But what if each defender held only one of the key cards -- the king of diamonds or the ace of clubs? Which suit should declarer tackle first?
If East held the king of diamonds, declarer could first set up three tricks in the suit and then force out the ace of clubs while there was still a heart stopper. That was not true if the entries were reversed.
The right play, therefore, is to go after the diamond suit first. Win the king of hearts in dummy and lead the queen of diamonds. If it wins, continue with a diamond to the ten. If that wins, abandon diamonds for the moment and force out the ace of clubs. You will make two spade tricks, two hearts and three tricks in each of the minors, or 10 in all.
& 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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