Chattanooga Times Free Press - - PUZZLES & FUNNIES - BY PHILLIP ALDER

Look only at the West hand. What would you lead against three no-trump? South has a bal­anced 15-17 points with a dou­ble­ton spade, and North has 10-15 points with five spades.

How did the de­fense go against three no-trump in this deal?

The auc­tion fol­lowed a very straight­for­ward trans­fer route, North’s three no-trump ask­ing part­ner to de­cide be­tween that game and four spades.

West, with 12 high­card points, knew that her part­ner had a very weak hand. So, lead­ing a heart or a club rated to cost a trick. A spade couldn’t be right, given the five-card suit in the dummy. So she chose the di­a­mond jack. The de­fense was still alive!

De­clarer, a ro­bot at Bridge Base On­line, won with the queen, cashed the di­a­mond king and spade king, and con­tin­ued spades, putting East in with his jack. Af­ter South had dis­carded one club and one heart, it was East’s mo­ment in the spot­light — what did he do?

East found the killing con­tin­u­a­tion — he led the club jack. Then the de­fend­ers took one spade, three clubs and one heart.

East and West bowed to each other.

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