Neither vulnerable. South deals.


xA 7 3


vA Q 8 6 4 3

wJ 8 4 2


xJ 9 6 5 2 xQ 10

uA 7 6 2 uK Q 10 8 5 3

vJ 9 v10 7 2

wK 3 wA Q


xK 8 4

uJ 9 4

vK 5

w10 9 7 6 5

The bidding:


Pass Pass 1v 2u

Pass 3u 3NT Dbl

Pass Pass Rdbl Pass

5w Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Five of x

Study the bidding and play of this deal, then decide: Did someone err? If so, who?

The bidding needs some explanation. East’s jump overcall was intermediate, showing a sound opening bid and a six-card suit. By agreement, North’s three no trump promised either a solid minor and a stopper in the enemy suit or at least 10 cards in the minors with longer diamonds. (How partner is supposed to know which, should the opponents pass, is a mystery to us.) The redouble indicated the minor two-suiter and South’s jump to five clubs closed the auction.

West led a spade and East’s queen lost to the king. Declarer led a low club to the jack and queen, and the ten of spades return was taken by dummy’s ace, and another trump was taken by East’s ace. With no entry to the West hand to cash a spade trick, no matter what East returned declarer would have the rest of the tricks. Making five-odd. Did anything untoward happen?

East is completely at fault. When declarer leads a low trump at trick two toward the jack, the king of trumps becomes marked in the West hand. (Holding the king of trumps, declarer would surely have won the first trick in dummy to, lead a trump to the king!) So East must win the first trump with the ace and return a spade. Now West wins the second trump and can cash the jack of spades for the setting trick.

2011 Tribune Media Services

More like this from

  • September 20, 2017 midnight


  • August 3, 2017 midnight


  • April 20, 2017 midnight


  • December 19, 2011 midnight


  • July 14, 2011 midnight


Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.