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Intermediate and newcomer players - sharpen your game with this series of tutorials. You can browse the index by topic, or read them in order. Learn even more at ACBL's Learn page.







                                                             Brian Gunnell


♠ T8



♣ KQ5432



Both Vulnerable

South   West     North    East


3NT      Pass    6NT      Pass

Pass    Pass


When he bid 6NT, could North be sure that E-W wouldn’t cash two Diamonds on the go?  Almost.  East supposedly had seven Diamonds … if South’s stopper was the Ace or King then no problem … and if South held Qxx then West probably couldn’t lead the suit!



West            East






♣ A8


Against 6NT, West led the Q, and Declarer could count 9 top tricks.  A couple of Diamond tricks would get him up to only 11, so it looked like he needed Clubs to break 3-2.  Judging from what followed, one can only assume that this was the last board of the evening and that Declarer had a train to catch.  He concluded that the Clubs had better be 3-2, and announced to the assembled throng: “Making slam if the Clubs are 3-2, down one if they are 4-1”.  When it turned out that Clubs were actually 5-0 the protagonists negotiated a settlement of down two.


If Declarer had not been reliant on public transport and had given more thought at Trick 1 then he might have seen that the contract had chances even if Clubs misbehaved.  Our question is: At Trick 2, what is the only card from Dummy which enables Declarer to make his contract?