North-South vulnerable. West deals.


xA K 5 2

u7 6 4

vK 8 6

wA J 5


xJ 8 3 x10

uA J 9 5 2 uQ 10 3

vA J 4 v10 7 5 3 2

wQ 7 w9 8 6 2


xQ 9 7 6 4

uK 8

vQ 9

wK 10 4 3

The bidding:


1u Dbl 2u 3x

Pass 4x Pass Pass


Opening lead: Three of x

The sun sets in the West, but this contract sinks in the East should that defender gain the lead. South avoided the problem neatly, but gained nothing for exemplary technique on this deal from a team match.

We are in favor of North’s double despite the flat distribution. It is safer to act on the first round than to back in later with this sort of hand. South made an invitational jump to three spades and North, knowing there was heart shortness in South’s hand and that all his high cards were working, raised to game.

At both tables West led a trump. At one table declarer drew another two rounds of trumps, ending in hand, and then finessed the jack of clubs. When that worked, declarer lost only one diamond and two hearts.

With both red aces marked in the West hand, the other South was not prepared to risk East gaining the lead. Declarer won the first trick with the ace of spades, cashed the king and then ran the jack of clubs to West’s queen. When West returned the suit, dummy’s ace won, a spade extracted the defenders’ last fang and the nine of diamonds was led. Since West could not gain by rising with the ace, the table’s king won. Two more rounds of clubs enabled declarer to discard a diamond from dummy, and the queen of diamonds endplayed West.

A diamond return would permit declarer to ruff in dummy and discard a heart from hand, while a heart would run up to the king, Either way, declarer would lose only one heart trick to go with the diamond and club tricks already conceded.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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