North-South vulnerable. West deals.


xJ 8 2

uJ 10 7


wK Q J 9 8 3 2


xQ 10 4 x9 7

uA 9 8 5 uK 6 4

vA Q J 10 9 vK 8 7 6 5

w4 w10 6 5


xA K 6 5 3

uQ 3 2

v4 3 2

wA 7

The bidding:


1v 3w 3v 3x

Pass 4x Pass Pass


Opening lead: Ace of v

This deal is from a World Championship Transnational Teams event. Both the declarers for the Italian world champions and a team of journalists showed they were fully conversant with a textbook situation.

North’s three clubs was pre-emptive and, with a safe haven available in clubs, South could afford to explore with three spades. North had an easy raise to game.

West led the ace of diamonds, ruffed in dummy. Both declarers proved that the contract needed no more than a 3-2 trump break — as long as declarer kept control of the hand. Suppose declarer comes to hand with the ace of clubs and ruffs another diamond. The hand no longer can be made. Sooner or later, declarer will have to concede a trump trick, two hearts and a diamond.

The winning line is surprisingly simple. At trick two, both declarers led a low trump from dummy and ducked in hand. The defenders were helpless. There still was a trump on the table to control diamonds and, no matter what West returned, declarer would be able to come to hand with the ace of clubs, draw the outstanding trumps and run clubs. Indeed, if the defenders did not cash their two heart tricks immediately, declarer would take the rest of the tricks.

The old saying: “If you can play, play; if you can’t, write!” does not always hold true.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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