Both vulnerable. South deals.


x4 3

uA K 2

v5 4

wK Q J 10 9 7


xQ J 10 9 8 x7 2

uJ 8 4 u7 6 5 3

vA 10 8 2 vK J 9

wA w8 6 5 2


xA K 6 5

uQ 10 9

vQ 7 6 3

w4 3

The bidding:


Pass 1x 2w Pass

2NT Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Queen of x

South’s two no trump response to a two-level overcall shows 10-12 high-card points, possibly 13 (by a non-passed hand) with a flawed singleton club. North, with seven taking tricks, has an easy raise to three no trump. A three-club rebid would be nonforcing and cowardly to the max.

East plays the two of spades at trick one to deny an honor. When partner leads the queen against notrump, third hand unblocks or overtakes with an honor doubleton, signals encouragement with honor plus length, otherwise plays low. No high-lows with a low doubleton! This is notrump. East cannot ruff the third spade!

South wins trick one with the king of spades, keeping East in doubt as to whether West has an A Q J or Q J combination. With an A K (x) stopper, taking the first trick with the king is far more deceptive than winning with the ace. Taking the first lead of a suit with the ace is a sort of giveaway. A declarer who just has the ace usually holds up.

After winning the ace of clubs, West counts South for at least nine quick tricks: five clubs, two spades and at least two hearts. When declarer has enough quick tricks in three suits to make his contract, it is not a bad idea to shift to the fourth suit. Actually, it’s a very good idea. If West shifts to the diamond two, East wins with king and continues with the jack — down one!

2013 Tribune Media Services

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