Goren Bridge: Opportunity Lost

October 19, 2023 12:48 pm | Updated 12:48 pm IST

A highly competitive auction, as we frequently see in the modern game. East’s double showed a high honor in hearts and South’s redouble showed first-round heart control. All-in-all, there was probably too much bidding. Most players with the North hand, we believe, would have bid five diamonds at their first turn. The final contract would have been the same.

South ruffed the opening heart lead in dummy and cashed the ace of diamonds, hoping for the king to fall. No luck there. It looked like South would have to lead a club and let his fate rest on the location of the club ace. Before doing that, however, he cashed the king of spades, noting the fall of the 10 from West. What now? South read the position perfectly. He led dummy’s nine of spades to his ace, delighted with the fall of the queen from West. He crossed back to dummy with a heart ruff and led the five of spades to his seven, finessing East for the eight. He could now discard one club from dummy on the jack of spades and another on the ace of hearts and make his contract. Very nicely done!

It is fun to think what might have happened had West played his queen on the first round of spades. South might well have run the nine of spades next, losing to West’s 10. This would have defeated the contract even if the ace of clubs had been onside all along.

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