North-South vulnerable. South deals.
xJ 5 4
vK Q J 7 3 2
wK Q 2
x10 7 xK 9 8 3
uK Q 10 7 6 4 uA J 8 2
vA 8 5 v10 6 4
wJ 4 w8 3
xA Q 6 2
wA 10 9 7 6 5
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
1w 1u 2v 3u
Pass 4u 5w Pass
Opening lead: King of u
Defense is the most difficult facet of card play. Whereas declarer can see the combined assets of his side, defenders have half theirs and half declarer’s. But it can be overcome.
East’s jump raise in hearts was pre-emptive. This had an important consequence in the play when, after West upped the ante with four hearts, North elected to bid on rather than double.
West led the king of hearts and found the best defense by continuing the suit, forcing dummy to ruff.
The king of diamonds lost to the ace and a diamond was returned, dummy winning as declarer discarded a spade. The king of clubs was led from the table and East contributed the jack.
Next came the jack of diamonds, South discarding another spade as both defenders followed. Declarer now had several lines from which to choose. With trumps 2-2, cashing the queen of clubs would have guaranteed 11 tricks and, if clubs proved to be 3-1, South could fall back on the spade finesse for the fulfilling trick. However, the auction suggested that nothing good was about to happen in either black suit.
If West’s jack of clubs was an honest card, declarer could lead another diamond; if East ruffed, declarer could overruff, cross to dummy with the queen of clubs, drawing the last trump and take a discard on a good diamond.
When declarer adopted that line, East simply discarded and, when declarer ditched the queen of spades, West ruffed with the four of clubs for the setting trick.
2013 Tribune Media Services