Both vulnerable. North deals.


xK 5 3

u9 4 3 2

vK J 9 3

wK 10


xA 8 7 6 4 xQ 10 2

uK uA 7

v10 vQ 8 7 6 5

w8 7 5 4 3 2 wQ J 9


xJ 9

uQ J 10 8 6 5

vA 4 2

wA 6

The bidding:


Pass Pass 2u Pass

2NT Pass 3NT Pass

4u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Ace of x

Even the most experienced pairs sometimes have to invent a bid to describe a particular hand. This deal is from a semifinal match in the Trials to select an American team for the world championship. Sitting North-South were former New Jerseyans, now Floridians, David Berkowitz and Larry Cohen.

After South’s weak two-bid, North’s two no trump asked partner to bid the plain suit in which he had a feature. For a weak two-bidder to hold two aces is rather unusual, and Cohen tried to describe his hand by raising to three no trump, a bid not in the system of responses. Berkowitz did well to correct to four hearts.

South’s problems would have been largely solved had West elected to lead the ten of diamonds, but West chose to cash the ace of spades and then shifted to a club. South won in hand with the ace, cashed the two black kings and ruffed a spade in hand. With the black suits stripped from both hands, South exited with a trump and did not mind which defender won. Since neither could afford to return a black suit and give South a ruff-sluff, the defender would have to open diamonds and, at worst, the fate of the contract would rest on winning one of two finesses in diamonds. Whichever course the defender selected, declarer would lose only two heart tricks and a spade.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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