Goren Bridge: Timing

May 11, 2023 09:02 am | Updated 09:02 am IST

North-South have adequate values for game, but what game? South’s two-heart cue bid showed a good hand and asked North to do his best to describe his hand further. When North admitted to having two spades, South took advantage of his great spade quality and drove to game in their 5-2 fit.

East won the opening heart lead and shifted to a spade, hoping to prevent a possible heart ruff in dummy. It was pointless for South to lead another heart, as the defense would just win and lead another spade. South could draw the trumps and duck a diamond in both hands. Assuming a normal 3-2 diamond split, this would give South enough tricks for his contract, but the defense would be able to cash enough heart tricks to defeat him. What to do?

After some thought, South found the solution. He won the trump shift at trick two with dummy’s ace and immediately led a low diamond from the dummy. The defense was now helpless. Dummy still had a trump to guard against the hearts. Whatever the defence did, South would be able to win and draw the outstanding trumps. He could then cash enough diamond tricks in dummy to discard any hearts he had remaining. Nice play!

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