Another Fork

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: South ♠ K 9 3
Vul: None K J 8
A Q 7
♣ Q J 10 4
♠ A 5 2 ♠ J 10 8 7
A Q 4 9 6 3 2
K J 9 8 6 3 4 2
♣ 3 ♣ 7 6 5
♠Q 6 4
10 7 5
10 5
♣ A K 9 8 2
South West North East
1NT 2 Dbl Pass
3♣ Pass 3NT All Pass

Opening lead: K

It’s possible that you would not have opened 1NT with the South hand. South was Australian expert Stephen Burgess, whose agreed range for opening 1NT was 10-14. Burgess, using his expert judgment and his clever bent, “promoted” his hand because of the good five-card club suit.

West found the excellent lead of the K, hoping for a singleton queen or the like. It took the lead of a diamond honor to give the defense a chance. A low diamond lead, instead, would have run around to South’s 10, and nine tricks would have been easy. As it was, there were only seven tricks after Burgess ducked the opening diamond lead in dummy and then won the second. An eighth trick was easy enough, but how could declarer get a ninth before West was able to set up his diamonds? Burgess found a way!

At trick three, Burgess led dummy’s ♣Q and overtook it with his ace. He led a low spade and caught West in a form of the Morton’s Fork Coup. West had to duck his ace or there would be nine tricks for declarer. When dummy’s ♠K held the trick, Burgess led the ♣J and overtook it with his king. A low heart toward dummy’s king now gave Burgess his ninth trick. The ♠Q was protected from attack and the entry situation in clubs was adequate for the needed transportation. Well played!