The Gift

Goren Bridge


Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: ♣Q

The auction was a bit labored, but North-South reached a reasonable slam. With normal splits in the red suits, the contract would have needed no more than the ♣A onside, or a club lead. An opening spade or diamond lead would have defeated the contract, as South would surely have used his one dummy entry to lead a club toward his ♣K. That would have worked, but the terrible split in trumps would have wrecked him.

West cannot be faulted for his club lead, but that lead gave declarer a very good chance to make his slam. What will East play after winning his ♣A at trick one? A club or a diamond allows South to win and cash the A. He will see West show out, cross to dummy with the ♠A, and lead a heart back to his nine, making his slam. East had been listening carefully to the auction and knew South had five diamonds, therefore at most one spade. East could see the danger and found the brilliant shift to the ♠9! South had to use his dummy entry before he knew about the bad trump split. South did smell a rat, but who among us would have the nerve to play a heart to the nine? This South didn’t and he finished down one. Great play by East!