Careful Handling

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: South ♠ K J 8 5
Vul: N-S 6 4 3 2
8 4
♣ A K J
♠ 9 7 4 ♠ Q 6 3
Q 10 7 5 J
A 10 9 6 Q J 5 3
♣ 9 8 ♣ 10 7 4 3 2
♠ A 10 2
A K 9 8
K 7 2
♣ Q 6 5
South West North East
1NT Pass 2♣ Pass
2 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening lead: ♣9

North-South arrived in 4 after a routine Stayman auction. Despite a combined 28 high-card points, the deal required some careful handling.

Declarer won the opening club lead with dummy’s ace and led a low heart to the jack and ace. He crossed back to dummy with a club to the jack to lead another heart, playing the eight when East showed out. West won with the 10, but with no clubs remaining, had a difficult decision to make. A heart or a diamond would be instantly fatal, so he did the best he could by shifting to a spade. This did pick up the spade suit for declarer, but South might have done that on his own.

South captured East’s ♠Q with his ace and saw a clear road home. West must have the A, or he surely would have shifted to a diamond rather than a spade. South cashed the K, followed by the ♠10 and a spade to dummy’s king. Dummy’s ♠J was cashed, which West refused to ruff as South shed a diamond. West, trying hard, also declined to ruff the ♣K, but he couldn’t escape his fate. South led dummy’s last trump, which West had to win. West had to give declarer the K for his 10th trick. Well played!