BRIDGE

Daily Southtown - - NEWS -

Both vul­ner­a­ble, East deals

The auc­tion was rou­tine, ex­cept for East’s fi­nal pass. He might well have com­peted to five clubs. West must have at least five clubs for a pre-emp­tive raise of a vul­ner­a­ble one-club open­ing. There was no as­sur­ance of cash­ing even one club trick on de­fense, and how ex­pen­sive could the sac­ri­fice be? Mak­ing five on this lie of the cards!

The North-South con­tract, how­ever, ap­peared to be hope­less. East switched to a low spade at trick two, ducked to West’s queen. South won the sec­ond spade with the ace and drew trumps in two rounds. South was about to exit with his last spade, forc­ing the op­po­nents to lead di­a­monds for him and let him out for down one, when he re­al­ized that there was a glim­mer of hope. He could make his con­tract if ei­ther op­po­nent held the sin­gle­ton king of di­a­monds.

South crossed his fingers and led the ace of di­a­monds. De­spair turned to glee when East oblig­ingly pro­duced the king. De­clarer now ex­ited with his last spade and was as­sured of his con­tract re­gard­less of which op­po­nent won the trick. East would have to give him a ruff-sluff or, should West win the spade, he could lead away from his jack of di­a­monds or yield a ruff-sluff. Never give up!

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