Both vulnerable. South deals.


xK J 9 6 2


v9 8 5

wK J 7 3


xVoid xA Q 10

uK 10 7 5 3 uJ 8

vK Q 7 4 2 vJ 10 6 3

w10 8 6 wQ 9 4 2


x8 7 5 4 3

uA Q 9 6 2


wA 5

The bidding:


1x2x 4x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

If Boy Scouts live up to their motto, they should be good players. A healthy dose of pessimism is a necessity for winning bridge.

West’s two-spade cue-bid showed a two-suiter with hearts as the anchor suit. North made a well-judged pre-emptive raise and East, with most of his values in the opponents’ suit, elected to pass.

West led the king of diamonds, taken by declarer with the ace. South led a trump, and West’s diamond discard was the contract’s death knell. East captured dummy’s nine with the ten and sacrificed a trump trick by cashing the ace and exiting with the queen. The defender scored only two trump tricks but got back two heart tricks.

Declarer led a heart to the ace and ruffed a heart, returned to hand with the ace of clubs and ruffed another heart. When East discarded, declarer was faced with two heart losers and so attempted the club finesse. Down two.

West’s bidding should have alerted declarer to the bad heart break, but even so, the contract should have been made. Looking at the combined holdings, there are at worst three trump losers. As long as declarer stays away from trumps, the contract is safe. Declarer should immediately embark on a crossruff at trick two, ruffing hearts in dummy and minor-suit cards in hand. The defenders are helpless. No matter how they defend, 10 tricks are there. Try it.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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