The Province - - COFFEE BREAK - with Bob Jones

South had enough to ac­cept the in­vi­ta­tion, so it is not clear why he bid three clubs. Some peo­ple just love to bid. East won the open­ing lead with the queen of di­a­monds, cashed the ace of di­a­monds, and con­tin­ued with the king, ruffed by de­clarer with the 10. The ace, queen, and nine of spades drew the out­stand­ing trumps, and the queen of clubs lost to East’s ace. East ex­ited with a club to dummy’s jack and South paused for a mo­ment to con­sider the rest of the play.

East could not have a bal­anced hand with the queen of hearts. That would give him 15 points and he would have opened one no-trump. South knew that it was point­less to cash the ace of hearts and lead low to his jack. That play couldn’t work. In­stead, he led a low heart to his king, hop­ing to see a sin­gle­ton queen or 10 from East. When East fol­lowed with the three, South’s only hope was that East started with the 10-3 dou­ble­ton. De­clarer led the jack of hearts from his hand and ran it when West played low. This pinned East’s 10 and gave South his con­tract. Well done!

Bet­ter de­fense by East would be to win the open­ing lead with his king of di­a­monds, cash the ace, and shift to a trump. South might still get the in­for­ma­tion that he needed, but he would have to work much harder to get it.

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