Goren Bridge: Hand of the year, so far

September 11, 2023 02:21 pm | Updated September 12, 2023 12:04 pm IST

Today’s deal is from the recent European Youth Team Championships. Some players with the West hand would lead a heart rather than a diamond. A heart honor from West would let South easily set up a ninth trick in hearts. The actual diamond lead was won by East’s queen as South ducked his ace. East shifted to the heart queen, also ducked by South, and then to the 10 of clubs. South’s queen lost to West’s king and West shifted to a spade. The defenders were apparently trying to confuse declarer by leading four different suits to the first four tricks.

South was not confused. He won the spade in hand with the king and cashed both red aces. He overtook his jack of spades and ran dummy’s spade suit, coming down to the ace-nine-three of clubs. West also had to come down to three cards. West saw that if he discarded another heart honor, it would be simple for South to lead a heart from dummy, endplaying him and forcing a lead from the jack of clubs. West took his only chance to defeat the contract by discarding his low club, leaving him with a singleton jack.

South was watching carefully and read the position. He led a club to his ace, dropping the jack, and took two more club tricks for an overtrick. Very well done!

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