East-West vulnerable, South deals.


xQ 7 5

uA J 8 4

vJ 8 4

wK 4 3


xA xJ 10 3

u9 7 6 uQ 10 5 2

vK 9 6 vQ 10 5 3 2

wQ J 10 9 6 2 w7


xK 9 8 6 4 2

uK 3

vA 7

wA 8 5

The bidding:


1x 2w Dbl- Pass

2x Pass 3x Pass

4x All pass

-Negative, values with no clear bid

Opening lead: Queen of w

North might have bid three clubs at his first turn, showing a limit raise in spades, but he tried a negative double instead. A 4-4 heart fit, if it existed, would probably play better than a 5-3 spade fit. It turned out not to matter, and North-South arrived in the spade game after an auction that was just a few bids longer than it might have been.

A two-level overcall in a minor suit is usually based on a six-card suit. Some very good hands with just a five-card suit will overcall also, but declarer should presume that the overcaller probably has six. There was danger, therefore, that dummy’s king of clubs could get ruffed out. To prevent this, South rose with dummy’s king of clubs at trick one.

The next problem was the trump suit. As West was far more likely to hold a singleton trump than East, South wanted to cross to his hand and start trumps by leading low toward the queen. He carefully led a heart to his king, rather than a diamond to the ace, and led a low spade. West won with his ace perforce and led another club. East got his club ruff, but South just played low from both hands and the ruff was harmless. South also gave up a diamond trick, but he was home safely with 10 tricks and his contract.

Note that had South crossed to his hand with a diamond to the ace, the defense could now get two club ruffs and defeat him.

2016 Tribune Content Agency

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