East-West vulnerable, South deals


xA 9 3

u5 4 3 2

vQ J 6 5

wJ 10


xK Q J 10 7 2 x6 5 4

uA Q u9 8 7

v4 v8 3

wK 5 4 3 w9 8 7 6 2



uK J 10 6

vA K 10 9 7 2

wA Q

The bidding:


1v 4x Pass Pass

Dbl Pass 5v Pass

Pass Dbl All pass

Opening lead: King of x

It is normal for the West hand to compete to four spades. When this deal was played in a team competition, a slower route to four spades at the other table allowed North-South to find their heart fit. Repeated spade leads eventually promoted East’s nine of hearts into the setting trick against five hearts. The abrupt leap to four spades at this table led to a five diamond contract instead. That contract can succeed if declarer can find a way to avoid the club finesse.

South showed good technique when he won the opening spade lead with dummy’s ace and immediately ruffed a spade with the ace of diamonds. He crossed back to dummy with a trump to the queen and ruffed dummy’s last spade. A trump to dummy’s jack drew the last enemy trump and declarer then led a heart to his jack.

West saw that he would be endplayed if he won this with the queen. He could cash the ace of hearts, but he would then have to lead a club or yield a ruff-sluff. He tried to avoid this fate by winning the trick with his ace and then returning the queen, hoping his partner had the 10. Declarer could counter this, of course, by allowing West’s queen to hold the trick. Despite that, this was a good effort by West. Holding the 10, South simply scooped up the queen of hearts with the king and eventually took the club finesse for a potential overtrick. Making five diamonds, doubled!

Tribune Content Agency

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