Both vulnerable. North deals.



uJ 9 8 5 4 3

vA J 2

wK 10 2


x8 7 6 5 xK J 10 9 3 2

u7 2 u6

v6 5 4 vK Q 7

wJ 8 6 4 wA Q 7


xA 4

uA K Q 10

v10 9 8 3

w9 5 3

The bidding:


Pass 1x Pass Pass

Dbl 2x 3u Pass

4u Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: Five of x

Listen to the bidding: It can provide useful clues to the play of the hand.

We are not thrilled with South’s initial pass. The hand is near perfect for a takeout double of one spade, despite having almost all the strength concentrated in one suit. Then, South should have jumped to four hearts over East’s spade rebid — there was no way partner could expect such a good hand. North’s decision to proceed to the heart game was a calculated gamble, based on a known 10-card or better fit.

Declarer won the first trick in hand and drew trumps in two rounds. Since the ace of clubs was surely with East, declarer elected to ignore that suit in favor of finding the diamond honors split between his two opponents and hoping for an even diamond split. The ten of diamonds was run to the queen and East returned a spade. Declarer ruffed, came to hand with a trump and repeated the diamond finesse, losing to the king.

East exited with a diamond to dummy’s ace. Declarer re-entered the closed hand with a trump and discarded a club on the nine of diamonds, but could not avoid losing two club tricks — down one.

As the cards lie, the contract could not be defeated. After winning the ace of spades, declarer should immediately ruff a spade on the table, then draw two rounds of trumps, ending in hand. Now a club is led, declarer covering in dummy any club West produces. East can win, but has no safe exit. Best is a spade. Declarer ruffs in dummy, discarding a club from hand, and leads the king of clubs to East’s ace. East’s only safe exit is a club. Declarer ruffs and runs the ten of diamonds to endplay East for a second time. Declarer loses only one diamond and two clubs.

2013 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

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