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Both vulnerable, South deals

NORTH

♠K 5 4 3

♥J 8

♦K 7 5

♣A 10 5 3

WEST EAST

♠10 ♠9 8 6 2

♥K Q 9 4 3 2 ♥7

♦Q J 9 6 3 2 ♦A 10

♣Void ♣J 9 8 7 6 2

SOUTH

♠A Q J 7

♥A 10 6 5

♦8 4

♣K Q 4

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1NT 2♥ Dbl Pass

2♠ 3♦ 4♠ All pass

Opening lead: King of

This is another deal from the recent youth championship in Europe. South was young Belgian star Sam Bahbout. West got both of his suits into the auction, but he subsided when the opponents powered into game and his partner showed no signs of life.

Bahbout captured the opening heart lead with the ace and cashed the ace of spades, noting the fall of the 10 from West. He led a heart to West’s queen, East discarding a low club, and West shifted to the queen of diamonds. East beat dummy’s king with the ace and continued diamonds. West overtook East’s 10 with his jack and led a heart, hoping his partner could score a ruff.

Bahbout ruffed with dummy’s king of spades and led a low spade, East playing low. What should Bahbout play from his hand? Had West’s earlier play of the spade 10 been a singleton or was it from 10-nine doubleton. Perhaps from some other holding that wasn’t a singleton? West had advertised a distributional hand in the auction, and Bahbout decided to play for the 10 of spades to have been an honest card. He inserted his seven of spades and brought home his touch-and-go contract. Well done!

Had East split his nine-eight of spades, Bahbout would have won with his queen and crossed back to dummy with the ace of clubs to take the now proven finesse against East’s nine of spades. (03/05/19)

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