Sunday Tribune




North-south vulnerable. North deals.

Opening lead: Jack of ♣

Today’s deal is from a team competitio­n in Japan over 40 years ago. Japanese profession­al Yoshiyuki Nakamura was South. The jump to five diamonds may seem brash, but a four-diamond bid would have been forcing and might have been based on a much better hand. He was trying to show minimum values for his bid. We agree that he was minimum.

Nakamura won the opening club lead with his ace and led a low diamond to dummy’s 10. This held the trick, but East’s discard meant that there were two trump losers to go with possible losers in both spades and clubs. In desperatio­n, Nakamura led a heart to his jack!

So far, so good. The king of hearts was cashed, followed by a spade to the ace. Nakamura cashed dummy’s ace of hearts and discarded a spade. A heart ruff was followed by a spade to the king and a spade ruff, leaving this position:

Nakamura exited with the nine of clubs to East as West shed his last spade. South ruffed the forced club return from East and West’s queen of diamonds was smothered! Should West ruff low, South would discard a spade from dummy, holding the lead for a diamond play. A ruff with the ace instead and dummy would take the last two trump tricks. Beautifull­y played!

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