Elegant Play

Goren Bridge


Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: ♠3

South could have risen with dummy’s ♠A at trick one, spearing East’s singleton king, but that was against the odds. He played low from dummy, losing to East’s king. East shifted to a heart, and West ruffed South’s jack before leading a second round of trumps. South won in dummy and crossed to his hand with the ♠Q, drawing West’s last trump.

South could succeed at this point if he could get three club tricks, or find the Q. He led a low club to dummy’s queen, crossed back to his hand with the A, and led a low club to dummy’s jack. West had to duck both clubs, of course. Declarer now found the elegant play of leading dummy’s Q and discarding the ♣K as East won with the king. What could East do? If East had a club to play, that would mean that West’s ace was now singleton. South would ruff and dummy’s long club would be good. A diamond lead instead would pick up the queen, so East decided to lead a heart.

South ruffed in dummy while shedding a low diamond from his hand. He now simply ruffed a club. East was now known to have started with exactly two diamonds. In this three-card ending, West still had the ♣A, meaning he was down to two diamonds also. The ace and king were sure to drop the queen and South had his game.