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Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - DIVEFRERE NS -

Both vul­ner­a­ble. South deals. NORTH ♠ AKJ743 ♥ Q8 ♦ A4 ♣ A83 WEST ♠ 9 ♥ J 10 9 7 5 3 ♦ 10 6 3 2 ♣ 10 5 EAST ♠ 2 ♥ K6 ♦ K975 ♣ QJ9642 SOUTH ♠ Q 10 8 6 5 ♥ A42 ♦ QJ8 ♣ K7

The bid­ding: SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST 1 ♠ Pass 2NT* Pass 4 ♠ ** Pass 4NT Pass 5 ♦ Pass 6 ♠ All pass *Game forc­ing spade raise **Bal­anced min­i­mum

Open­ing lead: Jack of ♥

Six spades is a sound con­tract, need­ing only for West to hold one of the red suit kings. The jack of hearts lead was cov­ered by the queen, king and ace. One chance gone. De­clarer drew two rounds of trumps, end­ing in his hand, and took the diamond fi­nesse. South con­ceded down one when that king was also with East.

De­clarer was cer­tainly un­lucky, but he could have done bet­ter. Can you spot how? West was un­likely to be lead­ing a heart away from the king on a power auc­tion like this.

South would have done bet­ter to play East for the king of hearts and hope it was sin­gle­ton or dou­ble­ton. The win­ning line is to play low from dummy at trick one, draw the trumps and elim­i­nate the clubs by cash­ing the ace-king and ruff­ing the third round. South can then exit with a heart to the queen. East wins but has no heart to play, so he is forced to yield a ruff-sluff or lead a diamond and the slam sails home.

Note that suc­cess was not com­pletely de­pen­dent on East hav­ing a dou­ble­ton king of hearts — that was merely an ex­tra chance. Should East have a safe heart to exit with, de­clarer can al­ways fall back on the diamond fi­nesse. Bob Jones welcome read­ers’ re­sponses sent to Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, LLC., 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, TX 75001. Email re­sponses may be sent

to tcaed­i­tors@tri­bune.com

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