The Times Herald (Norristown, PA)
By Phillip Alder
IF GIVEN A CHANCE, TRY TO CAPITALIZE
Quite often, you will be the declarer in what appears to be a hopeless contract. However, stay alert. If a defender errs, make him pay.
How should South play in four spades after West strangely leads his trump? (Yes, South was very strong for a weak two-bid.)
If the deal looks familiar, don’t worry. It is identical — monozygotic! — to yesterday’s. Three spades went down after diamond king, diamond to the ace, and club queen shift. When East switched to a low club, declarer played low from his hand and lost only two tricks in each minor.
At five tables, North-South climbed to four spades. Twice, West led the diamond king and continued with a low diamond. Each East shifted to the club four to defeat the contract. Note that this was the correct defense against four spades, giving declarer a guess if he had the club king and club jack.
At two tables, West led his trump. A singleton trump lead is almost never right. One South drew three rounds before switching to the heart jack. However, West correctly covered with the heart queen, blocking the suit and leaving declarer with just nine tricks.
The other declarer drew only two rounds before playing the heart jack. It was covered and won on the board. Then a heart to the nine was followed by a trump to the queen and two top hearts.
At the last table, West led the diamond king and shifted to the club jack(!) at trick two. South won with his king and then handled the majors correctly to bring home an overtrick and a top!