Neither vulnerable. South deals.


xJ 4 3

u9 3 2

vA K 8 4

wA 9 4


x2 x9 8 6 5

uQ 10 uK J 8 7

vQ J 7 5 v10 9 6 3

wK Q J 10 8 5 w7


xA K Q 10 7

uA 6 5 4


w6 3 2

The bidding:


1x 2w 3w Pass

4x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of w

Here’s another chance to see how you handle the odds. How would you play four spades after the lead of the king of clubs?

North’s three club cue-bid showed a limit raise or better in spades. With 13 prime high-card points and a singleton, South judged his hand as worth a shot at game.

West led the king of clubs, dummy’s ace winning. Declarer cashed the table’s ace and king of diamonds, discarding a club from hand, then drew trumps before starting on hearts. All would have been well had hearts broken evenly. As the cards lay, however, declarer had to lose three hearts to go with one club — down one.

A 3-3 break is only a 36 percent shot. There is an almost sure-trick line available as long as declarer does not touch trumps. After discarding a club on a high diamond, declarer should immediately lead a heart to the ace and return a heart. The best the defense can do is cash a club and continue the suit for declarer to ruff. South concedes a heart and can ruff his fourth heart, high if necessary, and the contract is home.

Note that, should the declarer draw even one trump, the contract can be defeated. Each time a defender wins a heart trick, he returns a trump, and declarer will be stranded with a third heart loser.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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