Albany Times Union - Sunday - - PUZZLES - By Bob Jones ▶ Send email to tcaed­i­tors@ tri­

To­day’s deal is from a re­cent team com­pe­ti­tion in At­lanta. Both ta­bles bid ag­gres­sively to reach the spade game, but only one de­clarer was suc­cess­ful.

South at this ta­ble won the open­ing di­a­mond lead with dummy’s ace and im­me­di­ately ruffed a di­a­mond. A spade to dummy’s king was fol­lowed by an­other di­a­mond ruff, elim­i­nat­ing di­a­monds from both hands. A spade to the queen drew trumps when they split 2-2. De­clarer led a low club to his 10 and West’s king. West ex­ited with the six of hearts. South ducked in dummy and also ducked in his hand when East played the nine. East was end played at this point and forced to ei­ther lead a club away from his queen, lead a heart, or yield a ruff­s­luff. Any of these plays would give de­clarer his tenth trick.

The de­clarer at the other ta­ble went down one af­ter less care­ful play. It seems that both de­clar­ers missed a point on this hand. Af­ter elim­i­nat­ing di­a­monds and draw­ing trumps, the con­tract can al­ways be made by play­ing the ace of hearts and an­other heart to dummy’s jack, play­ing low if West plays an honor. This suc­ceeds against all lies of the cards, in­clud­ing when West holds both miss­ing club hon­ors. Some­times these plays are hard to see at the ta­ble and sur­face only in the post-mortem dis­cus­sion.

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