The Easy Way

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

*Transfer to hearts
Opening lead: 3

Today’s deal was played in Australia about 20 years ago. West chose the aggressive diamond lead instead of a passive lead and paid the price for it. The J won the first trick and the A revealed the heart position. A heart finesse later, declarer claimed his contract.

Several experts spent the evening trying to find a way for declarer to succeed on a club lead. They came up with a complicated line of play that resulted in a squeeze to make 12 tricks. Proud of their analysis, they showed the hand to the late Tim Seres the next day. Seres, a legendary card player, looked at the hand for a few moments, and agreed that their line of play would work. He volunteered, to the amazement of the others, that it would be much simpler to just ruff the losers and score all the trumps in dummy.

The Seres line of play: Win the club lead and lead a heart to the ace. Cash the ♠ A K and ruff a spade, then a club to the king for another spade ruff. Should West ruff in, just discard dummy’s club loser and take the heart finesse later for 12 tricks. Should West discard a diamond instead, ruff the spade and cross back to hand with the A for a heart finesse. Follow this with a diamond to the king and a diamond ruff. At trick 13, West ruffs East’s ♣Q for the only defensive trick.