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East-West vulnerable, East deals

NORTH

♠10 8 7

♥A 10 9 4

♦J 9 5

♣A 7 5

WEST EAST

♠K J ♠9 6 4 3

♥8 7 5 2 ♥Q J

♦Q 8 4 3 ♦A K 10 6

♣K J 9 ♣8 6 4

SOUTH

♠A Q 5 2

♥K 6 3

♦7 2

♣Q 10 3 2

The bidding:

EAST SOUTH WEST NORTH

Pass 1♣ Pass 1♥

Pass 1NT All pass

Opening lead: Three of

The contract of one no trump can be a difficult one to play. The opponents have roughly the same values as you do, sometimes more, and they have the advantage of the opening lead.

East won the opening diamond lead with his 10, cashed the king of diamonds and shifted to the six of spades. Declarer played low from his hand and lost to West’s jack. West cashed the queen of diamonds and led a diamond to East’s ace. South discarded a heart from dummy and one heart and one club from his hand.

East shifted to the queen of hearts. South won this with his king and did well to play a heart to dummy’s ace, dropping the jack from East. East had shown up with 10 points and had passed as dealer, meaning that he couldn’t hold either black king. A spade to the ace brought more good news when the king fell from West. Declarer knew that West had started with two spades, four hearts and four diamonds. That left him with three clubs, presumably to the king. South led a low spade to dummy’s 10, forcing West to shed a heart. The queen of spades was now good, but there was no entry to it.

Declarer cashed dummy’s 10 of hearts and discarded the queen of spades, leaving a three-card ending with only clubs in the North, South and West hands. A low club to declarer’s 10 lost to West’s jack, but West was forced to lead a club from the king and declarer had his contract. Phew!

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