Both vulnerable. South deals.


xQ J 9 5

uJ 10 6

v7 2

w8 4 3 2


x8 7 2 x10 6 4

u5 4 2 u9 8 7 3

vK 9 8 4 vA 3

wK J 9 wQ 10 6 5


xA K 3

uA K Q

vQ J 10 6 5

wA 7

The bidding:


2w Pass 2v Pass

2NT Pass 3w Pass

3v Pass 3NT Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Four of v

To maintain partnership confidence, it is usually wise to return partner’s suit when you gain the lead. But this rubric, like all the others, is not engraved in stone. In the words of Hercule Poirot, use those little gray cells.

South’s first two bids described a balanced hand of 23-24 points. North inquired about four-card majors and, when South denied one, signed off in three no trump.

West led the four of diamonds and, since East could see this was the lowest diamond outstanding, he knew West was leading from a four-card suit. That meant that declarer held five diamonds, so it was time to look for greener pastures. The club suit was the most obvious source of tricks.

East rose with the ace of diamonds and shifted to the five of clubs to partner’s nine when South withheld the ace. West continued the good work by returning the king of clubs, forcing declarer’s ace. There was no way for declarer to come to nine tricks without a diamond, so South tried to sneak the ten of diamonds through. But West was having none of that, and grabbed the king of diamonds to revert to clubs, so the defenders collected three clubs and two diamonds for a well-earned one-trick set.

2013 Tribune Media Services

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