Neither vulnerable. West deals.


xK 8 7 5

uQ 7 4

vA K 7 2

wA 7


xQ 10 9 2 xA J

uA u8 5

vQ 10 5 vJ 6 4 3

wK 9 8 6 2 wQ 10 5 4 3


x6 4 3

uK J 10 9 6 3 2

v9 8


The bidding:


1w Dbl 3w4u

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Six of w

Receiving a favorable opening lead is something to be thankful for. But the cash is not in the bank until you land your contract!

East’s jump to three clubs over the takeout double is pre-emptive. With a seven-card suit, South’s jump to four hearts was eminently reasonable.

Had West led a spade, the hand would have been over in quick time. After winning the jack of spades and cashing the ace, East could simply sit back and wait for a spade ruff. Given a club lead, declarer played the hand carefully to land the game by catering to the possibility that the ace of spades was not with the opening bidder!

The opening lead was won in dummy, and a heart to the knave lost to the ace. Declarer ruffed the club return in hand, after which he cashed the ace and king of diamonds and ruffed a diamond. A trump to the queen provided the entry to ruff the table’s remaining diamond. With both the closed hand and dummy stripped down to nothing but major-suit cards, declarer led a spade from hand and, when West produced the nine, declarer ducked on the table! In with the jack of spades, East was helpless. No matter what the defender did, the defense could score only one more spade trick.

What if the nine of spades had held the trick? Declarer would rise with the king on the forced spade return. That secured the contract whenever West held the ace of spades or when East held a doubleton ace, since he would then be endplayed into yielding a sluff-ruff after winning with the ace.

2013 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.