Neither vulnerable, South deals.


xA 9 8 7 4

uA Q

vK J 5 2

w5 4


xK J 10 6 5 3 2 xQ

u5 2 uJ 8 7

v10 7 vQ 4 3

wK J wA 9 8 6 3 2



uK 10 9 6 4 3

vA 9 8 6

wQ 10 7

The bidding:


2u 2x 4u All pass

Opening lead: King of w

Zia Mahmood, known simply as Zia, is from Pakistan but he has lived in the United States for many years. He is now representing the USA in international competitions. Zia was South in today’s deal.

West found an inspired time to make an unusual lead. His king of clubs lead held the first trick, and he continued with the jack of clubs. East won and played a third round of the suit, both to kill the queen in Zia’s hand and to promote a trump trick in his hand. West ruffed the third club and Zia over-ruffed with dummy’s queen. Many players, at this point, would cash the ace of hearts, cross to their hand with the ace of diamonds, and cash the king of hearts, hoping to drop the jack. When the jack failed to appear, they would try the losing diamond finesse and finish down one.

Zia tried a different line. He cashed the ace of spades, shedding a diamond, and ruffed a spade as East discarded a club. A heart to the ace was followed by another spade ruff, with another club shed by East. The ace and king of diamonds were followed by another spade ruff. Down to just the king-10 of hearts and a diamond, Zia led his diamond. East won and was forced to lead a heart. Zia inserted his 10 and brought home his difficult contract.

2016 Tribune Content Agency

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