North-South vulnerable. South deals.


xA 10 6

uK 9 2

v6 5

w9 7 6 5 4


xQ J 2 x9 7 5 3

u10 4 uJ 8 6

vK Q J 10 7 4 v8 2

wK J wQ 10 8 3


xK 8 4

uA Q 7 5 3

vA 9 3

wA 2

The bidding:


1u 2v 2u Pass

3v Pass 4u Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of v

Ruffing values are not always easily recognizable. With three cards opposite two, it is there for the world to see. But what about when you have three cards facing three? Here’s an example.

South’s second-round cue-bid in diamonds was a help-suit trial bid. With a doubleton in the key suit, king of trumps and an outside ace, North had enough to accept.

West led the king of diamonds, East echoed with the eight and declarer allowed the king to hold. West continued with the queen, East furnishing the deuce as declarer won with the ace. There were problems. There was one loser in each plain suit, and the third diamond had to be reckoned with. One way was to cash two rounds of trumps and then ruff a diamond, hoping East was short in both red suits, but, on the bidding, that held little promise. After some thought, declarer came up with a better line.

A third diamond was led, declarer discarding a spade from dummy as did East — to no avail. West won and shifted to a trump. Declarer won in dummy with the king, drew a second round of trumps, then cashed the ace and king of spades and ruffed a spade. After returning to hand with the ace of clubs declarer drew the outstanding trump and, after gladly conceding a club trick, claimed the rest of the tricks to land his contract.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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