North-South vulnerable. North deals.



North-South vulnerable. North deals.
NORTH
A Q 7
A K J 7
A 10 9 2
K 10
WEST EAST
? 10 4 ? 8 5 3 2
? 8 6 ? 9 5 3
Q 5 3 Void
J 8 6 5 9 7 3 2
SOUTH
9 6
4 2
K J 8 7 6 4
A Q 4
The bidding:
NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST
2NT Pass 3 Pass
4 Pass 6 Pass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Five of
This deal is a finesser's paradise -- or nightmare, depending on your point of view.
How would you play six diamonds after you win the opening club lead in dummy?
There was little science but a lot of common sense to the bidding. South's three diamonds was natural and, after North raised the suit, South decided there had to be play for slam and barged into six diamonds.
Declarer won the opening lead in dummy and led the ace of trumps. West's spade discard was a blow. From this point on declarer's technique was impeccable, but it was too late. If he could pick up either the queen of hearts or king of spades, the slam would still succeed, and declarer found a way to combine his chances. He cashed king of diamonds and ace and king of hearts and ruffed a heart. When the queen did not appear, South tried the spade finesse -- down one.
Actually, South could claim 12 tricks at trick one. He must lead a low diamond at trick two and, regardless of the trump situation, the slam cannot be defeated. If East shows out, the diamond finesse is marked and declarer is playing for an overtrick. But what if East follows?
Declarer goes up with the ace of diamonds, continues with a diamond to the king and clears the clubs. Now South exits with a trump and East does not enjoy being on a lead. A club presents declarer with a ruff-sluff and a major-suit card is into one of dummy's tenaces, and the spade loser vanishes.
Perhaps declarer should have claimed at trick one!
& 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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