Both vulnerable. South deals.


x10 7 5

u9 7 4 2

vA 9 5

w10 7 6


xA 9 8 x6 4 3 2

u6 u8 5 3

vJ 10 8 7 4 vK 6 2

w8 4 3 2 wK Q J


xK Q J

uA K Q J 10

vQ 3

wA 9 5

The bidding:


2w Pass 2v Pass

2uPass 4u Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Jack of v

We are not enamored with the auction. We have often preached of the advantages of opening two no trump with a powerful, balanced hand that contains a five-card major, and this deal is no exception.

West led the jack of diamonds against four hearts. Plan the play.

The fate of the contract hinges on your play to the first trick. You are in danger of losing one spade and three tricks in the minors. To make matters worse, the opening lead threatens your only entry to the dummy. How do you intend to counter this threat?

The key card is dummy’s nine of diamonds. The opening lead marks West for the ten of diamonds, and you can make use of this scrap of information. Play low from dummy and, if as expected, West wins this trick with the king, jettison the queen. Now, when you gain the lead, draw trumps and then take the marked finesse for the ten of diamonds. Barring accidents, you have dug yourself out of trouble and the heart game rolls home — you can discard a club loser on the ace of diamonds.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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