Both vulnerable. South deals.


xK Q 5 4

uJ 10 3

vK 10 8

w10 8 7


x10 8 3 xJ 7 6 2

uK Q 7 4 2 u8

v9 4 2 vQ J 7 5 3

wA Q w5 4 3


xA 9

uA 9 6 5

vA 6

wK J 9 6 2

The bidding:


1NT Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Four of u

Eager to save an honor card at trick one, South blew a contract that was impregnable.

South made an intelligent choice for his opening bid. Had South opened one club rather than one no trump, a one spade or one no trump response would have left him with a difficult rebid problem. The three no trump final contract was the optimum spot.

West led the four of hearts and, following the ”rule” of second-hand low, declarer called for dummy’s three, covered by eight perforce and won with the nine. Since declarer could not come to nine tricks without developing clubs, he crossed to the queen of spades and ran the seven of clubs to the queen. West reverted to hearts, playing the king as East discarded a diamond. Declarer won with the ace and played a club, but West won with the ace and, leading hearts from the top took three tricks in the suit — down one.

See the difference if South had ”squandered” the ten of hearts from dummy at trick one. When South loses a trick to the queen of hearts, he retains two stoppers in the suit. No matter what the defenders do, South has time to establish clubs and come to at least 10 tricks.

2012 Tribune Media Services

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