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North-South vulnerable, South deals

NORTH

♠J 10 3

♥Q J 9 3

♦K 4

♣J 8 3 2

WEST EAST

♠8 5 2 ♠6

♥K 10 6 4 ♥8 7 5

♦Q J 6 ♦8 5 3 2

♣A 10 7 ♣Q 9 6 5 4

SOUTH

♠A K Q 9 7 4

♥A 2

♦A 10 9 7

♣K

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

2♣ Pass 2♦ Pass

2♠ Pass 3♠ Pass

4♣ Pass 4♦ Pass

6♠ All pass

Opening lead: Five of

North’s three-spade bid showed a useful hand, as he would have jumped to four spades with a bust. South jumped to slam when North was able to show a diamond control. Not the greatest slam, but not much worse than a successful heart finesse.

South won the opening trump lead in hand with the seven. He then led a diamond to the king, a diamond back to his ace, and ruffed a diamond. Had the queen and jack of diamonds not fallen, he would have been forced to take the heart finesse at this point. They did fall, however, so he considered other options. Why had West led a trump rather than a heart? There had been no heart cue bid in the auction. He might well have led a heart with no honor in the suit. South decided that West probably held the king of hearts, so he ran all of his trumps. This was the position:

NORTH

♠Void

♥Q J

♦Void

♣J 8

WEST EAST

♠Void ♠Void

♥K 10 ♥8

♦Void ♦Void

♣A 10 ♣Q 9 5

SOUTH

♠Void

♥A 2

♦10

♣K

West discarded the 10 of clubs when South cashed the 10 of diamonds. South exited with the king of clubs to West, who was forced to lead away from his king of hearts. Nice card reading!

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