North-South vulnerable. South deals.



uK 8 7 6 2

vJ 7

w10 9 8 6 5


x10 6 3xQ 9 4

u10 5 3 uQ J 9 4

vK 10 8 4 3 v9 6 5

w3 2 wK Q J


xA K J 8 7 2


vA Q 2

wA 7 4

The bidding:


2w Pass 2v Pass

2x Pass 3w Pass

4x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Three of w

Don’t commit yourself to a line of play before you look at all the possibilities. This deal is a classic example.

Two clubs was artificial and forcing, two diamonds a waiting response and two spades was natural. North’s three clubs was, conventionally, negative and, with a four-loser hand, South decided to shoot for game.

After a low club lead, the dummy that appeared had some good news and some bad.

The bad news was that, unless spades were 3-3 with the queen onside, there was no play for the contract, and there was no ready entry to the table. The good news was that both picture cards in dummy offered potential if declarer could ever get there.

The first impression was that the only hope was to lead a low diamond and hope for a defensive error, allowing the jack to become an entry. If West held the king, the defender could foil declarer by rising with that card. After further study South found a sure-fire way to get to the board.

After winning the first trick with the ace of clubs, declarer cashed the ace of hearts and then led the queen of diamonds from hand! The defenders had no counter. If West refused to rise with the king, declarer would continue with the ace and then ruff a diamond with dummy’s lone trump to provide the entry to discard a club on the king of hearts. As the cards lie, that would net declarer 11 tricks. Rising with the king was only a little better. The defenders could cash two club tricks to complete their book, but the jack of diamonds was a sure entry for the spade finesse. When that won and the suit split evenly, a rather fortuitous 10 tricks rolled in.

2013 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.