Both vulnerable. South deals.


x9 4 3

uJ 6

vK J 10 8 5 2

wK 5


xA Q J 10 7 5 x8

u5 4 uQ 9 8 7

vA 7 vQ 9 6 4 3

wQ 9 3 w8 4 2


xK 6 2

uA K 10 3 2


wA J 10 7 6

The bidding:


1w* 1x 2v** Pass

2u 2x 3v Pass

4w Pass 4u Pass

Pass Pass

*artificial, strong

**natural, game forcing

Opening lead: Five of u

This deal is from a National KO Teams event. Sitting North-South were Marc Jacobus and Eddie Wold. Except for the opening bid, the rest of the auction was natural.

The opening trump lead was ducked to declarer’s ten. Declarer cashed the king and ace of clubs and ruffed a club to set up two winners in hand. A diamond ruff was the entry to cash the ace and king of trumps, and declarer had an almost complete count of the hands — West was marked with at least six spades, two hearts, a diamond and three clubs, hence his most likely shape was 6-2-2-3.

Now the table’s nine of spades became important. Declarer exited with a low spade toward the nine, forcing West to win with ten, trapping himself into an endplay. If West cashed the ace of spades, declarer’s king would be the fulfilling trick. If West shifted to the ace of diamonds, declarer would ruff and play club winners until East ruffed himself into an endplay.

What a difference a spot makes! Note that if dummy’s spades did not include the nine, West could duck and allow East to win the spade.

2012 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.