Both vulnerable. South deals.


xQ 10 4

uA 9 4 2


w9 7 4 3 2


x7 3 xA 6 2

uQ J 10 5 u8 7 6 3

vA J 6 3 vK 10 9 5

wQ 10 5 wJ 8


xK J 9 8 5


vQ 7 4 2

wA K 6

The bidding:


1x Pass 2x Pass

3v Pass 4x Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of u

Develop your plan before playing to the first trick. You seldom have time to look for one later.

After North raised spades, South’s three diamonds was an aggressive help-suit game try. North certainly had the right hand to accept.

West led the queen of hearts, won in the closed hand. Declarer surrendered a diamond trick to East, who cashed the ace of spades and exited with a spade, leaving just one trump in dummy for a diamond ruff. Declarer won on the table, cashed the ace of hearts for a club discard and came to hand with the king of clubs. There followed a diamond ruff on the table and a heart ruff in hand, but declarer could not avoid losing three diamond tricks and a spade — down one.

South should have foreseen this defense. He could have countered elegantly. After winning the first trick in hand with the king of hearts, declarer should have cashed the ace and king of clubs and exited with a club, setting up two winners in dummy. If the defenders draw trumps, declarer collects four tricks in each black suit and the ace and king of hearts. If they don’t, declarer can trump two diamonds in dummy and collect four trumps, two hearts, two clubs and two diamond ruffs.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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