Both vulnerable. South deals.



uJ 8 4

vK Q 10 9 8 5

wK 3 2


xJ 9 7 5 3 x8 6 4 2

uQ 6 uK 10 5 3

v6 3 vA J 4

wJ 9 8 7 wQ 10


xK Q 10

uA 9 7 2

v7 2

wA 6 5 4

The bidding:


1w Pass 1v Pass

1u Pass 3v Pass

3NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Five of x

Had the first trick been won in the closed hand, declarer would probably have made the right play. Looking at it from the other hand, though, the winning line is not easy to spot.

The auction was straightforward. Intervention by East would only have simplified it for declarer to find the right play.

West led a fourth-best spade, knocking out a key entry to dummy. Declarer came to hand with the ace of hearts and led a diamond to the eight. East won with the jack and found the killing shift to a heart, based on declarer’s failure to finesse, West winning with the queen. When East regained the lead with the ace of diamonds, the defender was able to take two more heart tricks for a one-trick set.

South blew the contract at trick two. To come to hand with either ace unnecessarily exposed the contract to defeat — a club would allow the defenders to remove dummy’s remaining side entry before the long suit was established.

The correct line is for declarer to lead the eight of diamonds from dummy after winning the ace of spades! East cannot afford to duck since that would cost a diamond trick and the contract would be simple to make. But taking the jack is no better — declarer wins any return in hand and leads a diamond to the king, if necessary continuing the suit to set up four diamond tricks. No return can harm declarer as the cards lie, and the king of clubs is still on the table as an entry. Declarer scores four diamond tricks, three spades, two clubs and a heart for an overtrick.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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