Both vulnerable. South deals.


x6 5 3 2

uA K 9 5

vJ 7 2

wK 9


xK Q J 10 8 x9

u3 2 uQ J 10 8 6

v9 5 vK Q 10 3

wJ 7 4 3 w6 5 2


xA 7 4

u7 4

vA 8 6 4

wA Q 10 8

The bidding:


1w Pass 1u Pass

1NT Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of x

Even looking at all four hands, it is not easy to see how South should find the play to land nine tricks. However, it was found by the great Howard Schenken in a rubber bridge game a few months after his 75th birthday.

Against three no trump West led the king of spades, ducked by declarer. West continued with the queen, East discarded the eight of hearts and declarer won in hand. Even if declarer could score four club tricks, his total would be only eight. Where was the ninth without letting West gain the lead?

Schenken found the solution in the bidding. If West held another high card in addition to his solid five spades, he would surely have overcalled. So at trick three declarer led a low diamond to dummy’s seven!

East won with the ten and East persevered with a heart. Declarer won on the table and led the knave of diamonds. East covered with the queen and the defender was allowed to hold the trick as West followed with the nine! East continued with a heart, taken in dummy. Now declarer led the deuce of diamonds and, when East followed low, declarer successfully finessed the eight! When East discarded a couple of spades on these tricks, it was obvious that he held four clubs, so declarer simply exited with a spade and dummy’s fourth spade became the fulfilling trick

2012 Tribune Media Services

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