Neither vulnerable. West deals.


xA 4

u6 3 2

vA K Q

w7 6 5 4 2


xJ 9 6 xK 10 8 7 5 3

u9 7 5 4 u8

v8 v10 9 4 3 2

wA K Q 9 8 w3


xQ 2

uA K Q J 10

vJ 7 6 5

wJ 10

The bidding:


Pass 1w Pass 1u

Pass 2u Pass 4u

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of w

The bidding and play to the early tricks tell the story of this deal. If you read it correctly, 10 tricks at four hearts do not require a lucky diamond division.

North had to decide whether to rebid one no trump or raise to two hearts. With a ruffing value in spades and nearly all prime cards, North opted for the more encouraging raise. That enabled South to get to game in quick time.

West attacked with three rounds of clubs, declarer ruffing the third as East discarded the five and three of spades. What should have proved to be a simple contract turned nasty when East sluffed another spade on the second round of trumps. With a 3-2 trump split, declarer could simply have drawn trumps and cleared the high diamonds from the table, then get back to hand via a ruff to cash the jack of diamonds for the fulfilling trick. But since West was surely short in diamonds now, declarer had to draw all the trumps before cashing the diamonds, and that would leave South with no entry back to the closed hand.

The bidding and play provided a solution to this dilemma, however. West had passed in first seat with a five-card suit headed by the three top honors. With the king of spades and some distributional assets as well, West surely would have opened the bidding. The king of spades, therefore, could safely be assigned to East, and that gave declarer a clearly marked later entry back to hand.

Declarer drew the rest of the trumps, discarding the ace of spades on the last round! Now the diamonds were cleared and then declarer exited with the table’s low spade. East could grab the king, but then would have to let declarer take the last two tricks by returning either a spade or a diamond to declarer’s winners.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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