Neither vulnerable. South deals.


x7 2

uA J 9 5

vQ 10 9 8

w4 3 2


xQ J 10 8 x9 6 5 4 3

u6 uQ 8 7

v6 4 3 2 v7 5

wA 10 8 5 wQ J 9


xA K

uK 10 4 3 2

vA K J

wK 7 6

The bidding:


2NT Pass 3w Pass

3u Pass 4u Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of x

By any valuation, South’s host of top controls make his hand worth more like a balanced 24-25 points than its actual count of 21, hence the two no trump opening bid. When dummy comes down, the contract is at risk. If East can gain the lead and West has the ace of clubs, the defenders might score three clubs and a heart for down one.

Declarer won the opening and, applying the dictum ”eight ever, nine never,” cashed the ace and king of hearts and had no way to ten tricks without conceding a heart and, as the cards lie, going down one when the defenders took four club tricks on a club shift by East when he gained the lead with the queen of hearts.

Note that three no trump will also be defeated if declarer does not take the heart finesse into the safe hand — declarer has only eight tricks. However, the contract cannot be defeated if, after winning the first trick, declarer crosses to the ace of hearts and runs the jack. If it loses, declarer still has two spades tricks and four tricks in each red suit.

2012 Tribune Media Services

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