Both vulnerable. South deals.


xA 10 8 4

u7 5 4

vA Q 10

wK 10 9


x5 3 2 x9 7 6

uQ J 10 6 3 uK 2

vJ 4 2 v7 6 5 3

wA 2 w7 5 4 3


xK Q J

uA 9 8

vK 9 8

wQ J 8 6

The bidding:


1NT Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of u

Here’s another deal from Eddie Kantar’s award-winning series ”Thinking Bridge”.

The bidding is routine — if you go along with ”No Stayman with a 4-3-3-3 hand pattern.” Most top players abandon Stayman with this distribution.

As East, when partner leads the queen and you hold K-x or A-x, overtake and return the suit to drive out declarer’s lone stopper without blocking the suit. If you do that, partner can clear hearts keeping the ace of clubs as the entry to the established hearts.

As South, assuming East plays the king of hearts at trick one (indicating shortness), duck the first heart, win the second and lead the jack of clubs! Why? You have eight tricks outside the clubs and need at least one club trick to make the contract. If West has the ace of clubs plus a likely five-card heart suit, you are a dead man walking. Alternatively, if East has the ace of clubs, you can’t lose the hand. The reason for leading the jack is that it looks for all the world like you are taking a finesse. If West is taken in by this little piece of skullduggery and ducks, you have stolen your ninth trick!

2012 Tribune Media Services

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