Both vulnerable. West deals.


xA J 10 6 3

uA 8 6 3

vJ 5

w6 2


x8 5 xK Q 9 7 2

uK 4 u5 2

vK Q 10 9 v6 4 3

wA Q 8 4 3 wJ 10 9



uQ J 10 9 7

vA 8 7 2

wK 7 5

The bidding:


1v 1x Pass 2u

Pass 3uPass 4u

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

The secret to some hands is simply delaying the inevitable. West was left twisting in the wind on this deal.

With two minor suits and a hand not strong enough for a reverse, West elected to open in the shorter but higher-ranking minor to provide for a comfortable rebid. This probably had no effect on the auction and, with West marked for most of the missing strength, North-South reached a comfortable four-heart contract.

The opening lead of the king of diamonds was taken in the closed hand and, in case something good would happen, declarer cashed the ace of spades and ruffed a spade high. Next came the queen of hearts, covered by the king and won with the ace, and another spade was ruffed high. When it became obvious that the spade suit was not going to be established, declarer drew the remaining trumps, heaved a sigh of relief when they broke evenly, and exited with a diamond.

Left with nothing but minor-suit cards, West took the queen of diamonds and continued with the 10. Had declarer ruffed, the defenders would have scored a total of four tricks in the minor suits since only two trumps remained on the table. But declarer had another idea. Instead, two clubs were discarded from dummy on the diamonds as the defenders completed their book. That left West endplayed. The low club exit was run to the king in the closed hand (leading the ace would have been no better), and the two losing clubs were ruffed in dummy to bring declarer’s total to 10.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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