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BRIDGE



Published: Wed, July 3, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

BRIDGE

Neither vulnerable. West deals.

NORTH

x4 3

uA K 2

v5 4

wK Q J 10 4 2

WEST EAST

xQ J 10 9 6 x7 5 2

uJ 8 4 u7 6 5 3

vA J 9 2 vK 10 7

wA w9 6 3

SOUTH

xA K 8

uQ 10 9

vQ 8 6 3

w8 7 5

The bidding:

WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH

1x 2w Pass 2NT

Pass 3NT Pass Pass

Pass

Opening lead: Queen of x

The secret to many hands is counting — both points and tricks. That holds true for both declarer and the defenders.

The auction is simple enough. After North’s two-club overcall of West’s one-spade opener, South had enough to invite game in notrump. With seven tricks in hand, for North not to proceed to game would have been craven indeed.

West led the queen of spades. East followed with the two and South made the technically superior play of winning with the king, leaving doubt in the defenders’ minds about the location of the ace — not that it matters here. A low club went to the ace, and West paused to take stock. East’s play of the deuce marked declarer with the ace, so nine tricks were there for the taking — two spades, two hearts and five clubs — unless the defenders could come up with four more fast winners. Equally obvious was that diamonds offered the only hope for the defenders.

The only distribution that would benefit the defense was to find East with either four diamonds headed by the king or, specifically, the K 10 x in the suit. As is so often the case, once the problem was diagnosed, the solution was obvious. West shifted to the deuce of diamonds, East won with the king and returned the ten. Whether declarer covered or not, the defenders were assured of four diamond tricks and a one-trick set.

Most unlucky for declarer. Give East instead of West four diamonds and the contract would be unbeatable as long as South does not put up the queen on the second round of the suit.

2013 Tribune Media Services


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