Neither vulnerable. North deals.


xA Q 7

uA J 8

vA J 8 5

w10 3 2


x8 5 x10 9 2

u6 4 3 2 u10 7 5

v10 7 3 vK 9 6 4 2

wK J 8 7 wA 4


xK J 6 4 3

uK Q 9


wQ 9 6 5

The bidding:


1NT Pass 3x Pass

4x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Eight of x

The opening lead can determine how you play a contract. Here is a typical example.

The auction is typical for a pair not playing transfer bids. Obviously, three no trump is a sounder contract than four spades, but it is not easy to get to unless South chooses it as his response — not easy to do with a singleton diamond, even if it is the queen.

From declarer’s point of view, West found the awkward lead of a spade — with any other lead declarer might have time to start clubs and ruff the fourth club in dummy, if necessary. That forced South to change horses.

The opening lead was won in the closed hand with the jack, and the queen of diamonds was led in an attempt to coax a cover from West should that defender hold the king. When West followed low, declarer rose with dummy’s ace and ruffed a diamond. A trump to dummy’s queen provided the entry for another diamond ruff, and all was well when both defenders followed. A heart to the jack was used to ruff a third diamond with the king of trumps, and declarer crossed to the table with the ace of hearts to draw the last trump. The king of hearts could then be cashed to fulfill the contract. Thanks to the dummy reversal, all the defenders could collect were three club tricks!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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