Both vulnerable. North deals.


xA 7

u10 6 3

vK Q 10 9

wK Q 10 2


xJ 10 9 4 2 xK 8 5

uA 7 5 uK J 9 2

v7 6 4 3 v8

w7 wJ 9 8 6 4


xQ 6 3

uQ 8 4

vA J 5 2

wA 5 3

The bidding:


1w Pass 2NT Pass

3NT Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Jack of x

After a normal sequence, West leads the knave of spades against South’s three no trump. Declarer plays low from the table and your king wins. What do you return?

Considering the auction and your hand, partner is unlikely to hold two entries.

Since declarer is marked with the queen of spades by the opening lead, to return a spade after winning the king is futile — partner will not be able to establish the suit and get back to hand to cash his winners.

Therefore, an alternate defense is called for, and the obvious suit to attack is hearts, using the technique known in the trade as a “surround play.”

Shift to the jack of hearts! The best declarer can do is cover it with the queen. Partner wins with the ace and returns your lead. Dummy’s ten of hearts is “surrounded” by your king-nine, and your side rakes in four heart tricks with the king of spades in the bank. A well-timed shift nets the defense five tricks before declarer can really get going.

Happy New Year to all our readers!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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