Neither vulnerable. South deals.



Neither vulnerable. South deals.
NORTH
7 6
Q 8 6 3
K Q J 5
8 6 4
WEST EAST
J 3 2 9 5
10 9 5 4 2 A J 7
9 8 2 7 6 3
J 2 A K Q 10 7
SOUTH
A K Q 10 8 4
K
A 10 4
9 5 3
The bidding:
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
1 Pass 1NT 2
3 Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: Jack of
The ability to count is intrinsic to the game of bridge. It applies to both points and distribution, as this hand illustrates.
South's jump to three spades in this competitive auction was invitational, showing a good six-card suit and a hand worth some 17-18 points. Since some of North's soft values were bound to be wasted, pass was the sensible action.
West led the jack of clubs and, since he held the ten, East knew the lead was either singleton or from a doubleton. That meant declarer had at least three clubs. A quick count of the points showed that, if declarer had his bid, West could have nothing in the way of high cards -- some 38 high cards were already accounted for in the other three hands. It was also likely that West held three trumps and, if they included the knave, there was a way to set the contract.
Just in case West had started with a singleton club, East overtook the knave with the queen and, to prevent declarer from discarding a heart on the fourth round of clubs, East cashed the ace of hearts before continuing with the king and ace of clubs, declarer following suit. Now East's care in cashing the ace of hearts paid off. When the defender continued with a fourth round of clubs, West's knave of trumps was promoted to the setting trick regardless of whether South ruffed high or low. Had South not cashed the ace of hearts, declarer would have discarded the king and claimed his contract.
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; 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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