Devious Defense

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: K
Today’s deal features one of the world’s best pairs. East and West, respectively, were Chip Martel and Lew Stansby, from the San Francisco area. They are former World Open Pairs champions. Martel’s pre-emptive bid was about a king heavier than normal. With an opening bid on his left and a two-level response on his right, he knew that his partner had limited high-card points. Martel’s bid had ramifications in the play.
Stansby continued with a second heart at trick two, ruffed in dummy. Declarer led dummy’s K to Stansby’s ace and Stansby continued with another diamond. South shed a spade as dummy won the queen. Declarer now cashed dummy’s J and discarded another spade. The ♣K came next, as Stansby smoothly followed with the jack!
Declarer was at the crossroads. Should the trumps split 2-2, he could just draw the outstanding trumps with dummy’s queen and discard his ♠Q on a diamond. He could also take the spade finesse, but West rated to have the king after East’s preemptive bid. Should the ♣J be an honest card, he could simply continue with a good diamond. He could overruff East and return to dummy with the ♣Q, drawing the last trump, and discard his spade on a diamond.
He chose to lead another diamond. Martel was careful not to ruff the diamond or it would have exposed the position. South confidently discarded his ♠Q and was pained when Stansby ruffed this for the setting trick. Nice defense!

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