How Did We Get Here?

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

*Spades and diamonds, at least 5-5
Opening lead: ♠4
Occasionally, an auction takes a surprise turn, leaving you with an option you hadn’t considered. That’s what happened to Larry Cohen, South in today’s deal. Cohen, from Delray Beach, Florida, is not active as a player these days, though he’s very active running bridge cruises and lecturing. His credentials as a player will make him a first-ballot member of the Bridge Hall of Fame when he becomes age eligible in the near future.
Cohen made a forcing pass over East’s brave 4♠ bid, intending to pull partner’s double to five hearts, assuming partner doubled. Partner David Berkowitz, of Boca Raton, Florida, surprised Cohen when he showed some club support at the five level. Cohen decided not to support hearts after all. He would keep his K protected as declarer.
West led an imaginative ♠4. He was sure that his side did not have two spade tricks on defense, but they might have two diamond tricks if he could get his partner on lead. It was dummy who wound up on lead when Cohen rose with dummy’s ♠K.
The contract was pretty safe as long as Cohen made an unusual play. He cashed dummy’s ♣Q and led a club to his 10, picking up the clubs and taking all 13 tricks. Had the club play lost to West’s jack, the K would be protected from attack and 11 tricks would still be there. Nice play!

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at

Join Zoom Chat