Neither vulnerable. South deals.


xJ 5

uQ 4

v10 8 5 2

wQ 10 8 7 4


x9 7 6 x3

uJ 9 7 6 uA 8 5 2

vQ 4 3 vJ 9 7 6

wJ 6 5 wK 9 3 2


xA K Q 10 8 4 2

uK 10 3

vA K


The bidding:


2w Pass 2v Pass

2x Pass 3w Pass

3u Pass 3x Pass

4w Pass 5x Pass

6x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Six of x

Against your six-spade contract, West gets off to the best lead of a trump. Would you rather play or defend?

Two clubs is an artificial game force and two diamonds is a waiting bid, until further clarification. That comes on the next round when North bids three clubs which, conventionally, shows a weak hand for spades. Nevertheless, South is still interested in slam so, rather than rebid three spades, which could be passed, South bids a suit in which help is needed for a higher contract. When South next makes a cue-bid despite North’s total lack of interest, North should value the two honor cards in South’s suits as worth a mild effort, hence the bid over game. South needs no further encouragement.

Looking at all four hands, you should elect to play six spades. Win the opening lead in hand and lead a low heart to the queen. When East wins the ace and is unable to return a trump, you can win any return, cash the king of hearts, ruff a heart in dummy and claim the rest of the tricks.

At the table, however, excellent defense by East should allow the defense to prevail. When declarer leads a heart to the queen, allow it to win! Sure that West is now marked with the ace of hearts, declarer will lead the table’s remaining heart and, when East follows low, finesse the ten! West can win with the jack and revert to a trump, and South is stranded with a heart loser. Down one!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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