Both vulnerable. South deals.


xQ 10 8

u9 8 6 2

vJ 8 5

wQ 9 7


x7 5 xK 2

uQ J 10 5 uK 7 4 3

vK 4 vQ 7 3 2

wJ 8 6 3 2 wK 10 5


xA J 9 6 4 3


vA 10 9 6

wA 4

The bidding:


1x Pass 2x Pass

4x Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of u

Contracts where the strength is more or less evenly divided between declarer and dummy are usually easier to fulfill than those where one hand contains the great preponderance of strength. In the latter case it can be difficult to get from hand to hand. Consider this deal.

North held just enough to raise his partner’s one-spade opening bid to two, especially since the queen of trumps should be upgraded a point. South could hardly do less than contract for game.

West led the queen of hearts, and declarer had a tough job ahead of him. There was a possible loser in each suit except hearts, and the fourth diamond would also have to be handled.

South won the first trick with the ace of hearts and cashed the ace of spades, hoping to drop the king. When nothing good happened, declarer continued with a trump to the ten and the king. East exited with a heart, forcing declarer to ruff.

Dummy was entered with the remaining trump and a diamond was finessed. No matter how declarer proceeded, he had to lose two diamonds and a club in addition to the king of trumps — down one.

South could have done better had he been prepared to lose a trump trick and try to limit his diamond losers to one. At trick two declarer should lead a low trump to the eight! East can do no better than take the king and exit with a heart. Declarer ruffs, crosses to dummy with a trump and carefully leads the eight of diamonds, running it to West’s king.

The heart return is ruffed, declarer crosses to the table with a trump and runs the jack of diamonds. When that holds, declarer is still on the table and can repeat the diamond finesse. That limits South’s losers to one trick in each suit except hearts.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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