Neither vulnerable. South deals.


xK J 8 7

uJ 9 2

v4 2

wK 7 6 5


xA 6 5 3 x10 4

uA 10 8 6 u3

v5 3 vA Q J 7 6

wQ 10 8 wA J 9 4 2


xQ 9 2

uK Q 7 5 4

vK 10 9 8


The bidding:


Pass Pass Pass 1v

1u 1x 2u 3w

3uDbl Pass Pass


Opening lead: Five of v

Club regulars knew that doubling Tommy with a trump stack was futile — all it accomplished was to turn a card pusher into a technical master. And to double in a partial was tantamount to handing him a game. Still, once in a while even the most stoic opponent could not resist temptation.

There was nothing remarkable about the auction. West found it hard to believe that even Tommy could come close to nine tricks when East had opened in fourth seat and competed freely to the three-level. After all, West held a near opening bid including two aces and four trumps, and had it not been Tommy declaring, no one would have had the slightest quibble with the double.

West led the five of diamonds. East rose with the ace and returned the queen, Tommy’s king winning. The king of trumps lost to the ace and West shifted to the queen of clubs, which held the trick. The continuation of the ten of clubs was ruffed in hand, and a spade to the jack won. Declarer continued with a spade to the ten and queen, West scoring his ace. A third club was led and ruffed in the closed hand and West now held one more trump than Tommy — to no avail.

Tommy cashed the king and eight of spades, discarding a diamond from hand. All hands were now reduced to three cards, with the jack nine of trumps and king of clubs in dummy and West down to nothing but trumps. Tommy led the king of clubs from dummy and ruffed with the queen, as West underruffed hopelessly. All that remained was for Tommy to lead a trump and finesse dummy’s nine, and the contract was in the bag. Tommy lost only one trick in each suit!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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