East-West vulnerable. West deals.


xA 8 5 3


vJ 8 6

wQ J 10 7 4


xJ 9 2 xK Q 10 7 6

u9 7 u5 3

vA Q 10 2 v9 5 4 3

wA K 9 5 w6 2



uA K J 10 8 6 4 2

vK 7

w8 3

The bidding:


1v Pass 1x 4u

Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: King of w

The technique of an expert is a pleasure to watch. Follow the play and defense of this deal.

The auction is straightforward. South’s four hearts was a two-way action — it might make, or it could be a profitable sacrifice against an enemy contract.

West led the king of clubs. Continuing with the ace of clubs would have made life simple for declarer, as would a shift to a red suit. West found the best defense by shifting to a spade.

The opening bid and East’s response marked West with the ace of diamonds, so declarer was in grave danger of losing two tricks in each minor. To make the contract now, declarer would have to rely on an endplay. That would require West to be stripped of all major-suit exit cards before throwing the defender in with the ace of clubs to force a diamond return. For that to succeed, West would have to have started with no more than three spades.

The preliminary moves were to win the ace of spades, ruff a spade, then cross to the queen of hearts to ruff another spade — high, just in case. Another round of trumps brought about the desired position — all West’s major-suit cards had been removed. Declarer simply exited with a club and West was faced with a variety of ways to commit suicide. No one could ever accuse West of being less than a gentleman. The defender simply threw his cards into the center of the table and conceded 10 tricks!

2013 Tribune Media Services

Don't Miss a Story

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