Both vulnerable, North deals.


xA 10 3

u4 3

vA 8 5 3 2

wA 10 6


xK 9 6 2 xJ

uJ 10 7 6 uA Q 9 8 5

v9 vK Q 10 6 4

wJ 9 4 2 w5 3


xQ 8 7 5 4

uK 2

vJ 7

wK Q 8 7

The bidding:


1v 1u 1x 3u-

Pass 4u Dbl Pass

4x All pass


Opening lead: Nine of v

We recently featured a deal played by Hall-of-Famer Chip Martel. Martel was South on this deal, another gem, played in a recent competition.

Martel won the opening diamond lead with dummy’s ace, crossed to his hand with the king of clubs, and led the queen of spades! When this pinned East’s jack, Martel continued with a spade to dummy’s 10 and then cashed the ace. So far, so good, but he was not home yet.

Martel led a heart toward his king. East rose with the ace, cashed the king of diamonds, and then led the queen of diamonds. Martel ruffed as West discarded a heart. With one loser each in spades, hearts, and diamonds, Martel still had to bring home the clubs for no losers. On the information available, East almost certainly started with 1-5-5-2 distribution. West, who started with four clubs to only two for East, was therefore twice as likely to hold the jack of clubs. Backing his reasoning with his play, Martel played a club to dummy’s 10 and brought home his very unlikely contract.

When not playing bridge, Martel helped to develop the computer sciences department at the University of California, Davis, where he still contributes as a professor emeritus. He is now retired and trying to add even more titles to his illustrious career as a bridge player.

2016 Tribune Content Agency

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