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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, July 16, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

BRIDGE

Both vulnerable. South deals.

NORTH

xJ 5

uQ 9

vA Q 4 3

wJ 9 8 6 5

WEST EAST

xQ 7 xK 10 9 6 4

u7 2 uJ 6 5

vK 10 9 7 2 v6 5

wA Q 7 3 w10 4 2

SOUTH

xA 8 3 2

uA K 10 8 4 3

vJ 8

wK

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1u Pass 1NT Pass

2u Pass 3u Pass

4u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Seven of u

Study the diagram above, then decide: Would you rather play or defend four hearts after a trump lead?

Note the auction. Systemically, North’s one no trump was forcing and South’s rebid promised a six-card suit. Since the doubleton queen was now adequate support, North showed a maximum initial response by inviting game with three hearts, and South bid one more for the road.

Suppose you elect to defend and get off to the best lead of a trump. Declarer captures partner’s jack with the king and leads the king of clubs. In with the ace, West removes dummy’s remaining trump. Declarer allows the table’s queen to win and leads the jack of clubs, discarding a spade from hand and losing to the queen. You shift to the queen of spades, which declarer ducks unnecessarily, and continue with a spade to the knave, king and ace.

After drawing the last trump, declarer’s jack of diamonds is covered by the king and taken with the ace, and the nine of clubs is led. When that fetches the ten, it is all over. South ruffs and the remaining spade goes away on dummy’s eight of clubs since the queen of diamonds is still there as an entry. South loses only two clubs and a spade.

Declarer timed the hand beautifully, but don’t settle for declaring the hand just yet. Brilliant defense will lead to the contract’s defeat. Suppose that, on winning the ace of clubs, West shifts to the king of diamonds. Now when West wins the jack of clubs with the queen, another diamond wreaks havoc with the entries, and there is no way for South to come to 10 tricks. Try it.

2013 Tribune Media Services


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