BRIDGE with Bob Jones

The Province - - COFFEE BREAK -

Some play­ers will hang onto their last trump un­til the end of the hand, as if it were a card­board se­cu­rity blan­ket. Good play­ers re­al­ize that play­ing off their last trump might be the key to mak­ing their con­tract.

South’s three no-trump bid showed ex­tra val­ues within a bal­anced hand. North asked for aces and bid a slam that ap­peared to have two cer­tain losers — a spade and a di­a­mond. South made the di­a­mond loser dis­ap­pear. South won the open­ing club lead with his ace and played off the ace, king, and queen of hearts, draw­ing trumps. A spade to the king lost to East’s ace and East shifted to the nine of di­a­monds.

South knew that East would never lead away from the king of di­a­monds in this po­si­tion, so he rose with his ace. De­clarer led a spade to the queen and crossed back to his hand with a heart to the jack as West shed a spade. South cashed the jack of spades and West dis­carded the jack of di­a­monds. West could not de­fend the po­si­tion when South cashed his last trump. West had to dis­card a club in or­der to keep the king of di­a­monds, so the queen of di­a­monds was dis­carded from dummy and dummy’s clubs took the last three tricks. Nicely played!

Note that a club re­turn by East rather than a di­a­mond would de­feat the con­tract. The im­por­tant link to dummy would have been used up at the wrong time.

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