When I watched today’s deal in a Chicago game, South was Tom Webb, known to all as “Tangle” because he encounters more blocked suits and entry woes than anyone in my club.
At 3NT, Tangle refused the first two spades and won the third. He led a club to the ace, returned a diamond to his ace, took the K-Q of clubs and tried a diamond to dummy’s jack. The finesse won, but East discarded. Tangle then led the king and a fourth diamond to set up dummy’s fifth diamond. But when West took the queen, he led a club, and East took the jack and also the king of spades. Down one.
Tangle got tangled up. Could you get untangled and make 3NT?
After South takes the ace of clubs, he can play a low diamond from both hands. East can win and cash his high spade, but if he next leads a club, South takes the ace and comes to the ace of diamonds.
When South sees how the diamonds lie, he can cash the K-Q of clubs, then run three diamonds with a finesse, winning nine tricks in all.
Daily Question: You hold: & 952 h A 764 ( KJ652 $ A. You open one diamond, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?
Answer: This awkward situation might have been resolved, with benefit of hindsight, by not opening the bidding. (With decent defensive values and a five-card suit, most players would have opened.) Raise to two spades and hope to survive. To raise with three low cards is unpleasant, but to bid 1NT or rebid two diamonds would be worse.