Both vulnerable. South deals.



uA 8

vQ 9 8 7 6 2

wK Q 6 3


xA K 7 6 xQ 9 5 4 3

uJ 9 6 4 uK 10 7 3 2

v5 v4 3

wJ 9 7 2 w4


x10 8 2

uQ 5

vA K J 10

wA 10 8 5

The bidding:


1v Pass 2w Pass

3w Pass 3u Pass

4w Pass 5v Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of x

There is such a thing as holding too many high cards. If you doubt that statement, consider this deal.

The auction was simple enough. North tried for three no trump by showing the heart stopper and then elected to play in game in the longer minor. Had the vulnerability been favorable, West might have elected to make a takeout double of the one- diamond opening bid — the distribution was classic but the hand was a trifle light for that action here.

West led the king of spades then shifted to a low heart. Declarer saw no harm in letting that ride to the queen. East grabbed the king and reverted to spades. Declarer ruffed but, with clubs breaking badly and West holding the length, declarer eventually had to concede a club trick for down one.

Had South held a heart lower than the queen, it might have been easier to spot the winning line. Declarer must rise with the ace of hearts at trick two, lead a trump to the king and ruff a spade. After drawing the remaining trump and ruffing the last spade, declarer cashes the king and queen of clubs to reveal the unfortunate distribution.

Declarer simply exits with a heart, and the defenders are helpless. If East wins, the defender must concede a ruff-sluff. If West wins, the ruff-sluff can be avoided but only at the expense of leading a club into declarer’s A 10 tenace. Either way, the club loser disappears and the contract romps home.

2013 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

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