Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: ♠6

Today’s deal is from the Bermuda Bowl some years ago. It was played in a match between teams from Brazil and Poland. Both tables reached 3NT from the South seat, and both declarers received the same low spade lead, won in hand with the queen. Both declarers realized that the only chance for nine tricks was to bring in the club suit, and the percentage play was to finesse for the queen.

The Brazilian declarer put the ♣10 on the table at trick two. That fetched the queen from West, but when the clubs split 4-1, there were not enough tricks. South took as many tricks as he could and drifted down two.

The Polish declarer was Michael Kwiecien, who was the World Open Pairs champion a couple of years earlier. He also needed the ♣Q onside. All would be well if the club suit split 3-2, but Kwiecien gave some thought to possible 4-1 splits and what he could do about them. He saw that leading the 10 would never be necessary. A low club toward the dummy, intending to finesse the jack unless the queen appeared, could handle both a singleton nine with East and a singleton queen with West. Kwiecien correctly led his ♣6 at trick two, rather than the 10. That was the winner and brought in a game swing for the Polish team.