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North-South vulnerable, South deals

NORTH

♠K J 6

♥J 5

♦K 7 3

♣A 9 6 5 4

WEST EAST

♠Q 5 4 ♠7

♥A 9 7 4 ♥K Q 10 6 3 2

♦Q J 8 4 ♦9 6 2

♣J 2 ♣Q 8 3

SOUTH

♠A 10 9 8 3 2

♥8

♦A 10 5

♣K 10 7

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1♠ Pass 2♣ Pass

2♠ Pass 4♠ All pass

Opening lead: Queen of

South in today’s deal was the late John Solodar, a World Champion. It is from an important team match some years ago.

The star declarer at the other table won the queen of diamonds lead with his ace. He then cashed the ace and king of trumps, learning that there was a trump loser. Hoping for an endplay later, he exited with a heart to East. Had East tried to cash another heart, South would have ruffed and led the 10 of diamonds. This would have forced West to cover with the jack. South would win with dummy’s king and exit with a diamond to East’s nine, and East would have to break clubs or yield a ruff-sluff. An alert East, of course, should jettison his nine of diamonds under the king and escape the endplay. West would then be able to win the third round of diamonds with the eight and draw dummy’s last trump, avoiding the ruff-sluff. East, however, correctly returned the nine of diamonds rather than trying to cash another heart, and declarer had no chance.

Solodar also won the opening lead with his ace and cashed the ace of spades. He then cashed the king of clubs, led a club to dummy’s ace, and exited with a club to East. East returned the nine of diamonds, but Solodar won with dummy’s king and cashed the king of spades. He then simply discarded his diamond loser on a good club. West ruffed, but that was the last trick for the defense. (02/12/19)

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