Both vulnerable. South deals.


xA Q 10 6 4 2

uJ 5 2

vJ 5

wA 3


x8 5 xJ 9 7 3

uQ 9 7 6 4 u10 8

v10 9 8 6 2 vK 7 4

w9 wJ 10 8 7



uA K 3

vA Q 3

wK Q 6 5 4 2

The bidding:


1w Pass 1x Pass

2v Pass 3x Pass

6NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ten of v

Follow the bidding and play of this deal and then decide whether the hand was played at duplicate or rubber bridge.

South had no clear-cut way to describe such a good hand, which did not quite measure up to demand bid strength. The choice of a reverse, which is forcing in the modern style, was a good compromise — the hand was too strong and the suit not good enough for a jump to three clubs. When North showed a strong hand with a six-card spade suit, South wisely elected to play a slam in no trump rather than a suit. There were 12 tricks if either black-suit broke favorably while a slam in a suit might depend solely on how the bid suit broke.

The first trick was covered by the jack and king and won with the ace. Declarer cashed the king of spades, then led the deuce of clubs and allowed West’s nine to hold the trick! No matter what West returned, there were now 12 tricks — three spades, two hearts, two diamonds and five clubs.

Note that, had declarer crossed to the ace of clubs after cashing the king of spades, the contract would be defeated. Since there is no entry to dummy once spades are established, declarer has to go after clubs, but with the long club and the long spade in the same hand, the defenders must collect at least two tricks.

Obviously, this deal is from rubber bridge, where safety plays are a sine qua non. At duplicate, since most of the field is likely to be in slam, the combined odds on a 4-2 in one suit without the jack falling, a 4-2 break in another and length in those two suits in the same hand are too remote to take into account. You cannot afford to give up such a good chance for an overtrick.

2011 Tribune Media Services

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