Goren Bridge: Resourceful Declarer

January 18, 2024 02:18 pm | Updated 02:18 pm IST

Today’s deal is from the Norwegian Teams Championship some years ago. The contract would surely have failed had West led a low heart, but South bid hearts and West did not want to give South a cheap heart trick. Many would feel the same way.

South won the opening spade lead with dummy’s ace and ran the jack of clubs for a much-needed finesse. East, thankfully, held the king, and South cashed four club tricks. East came under serious discarding pressure on the last two clubs. He shed a low heart, a subtle error in hindsight, but what else? A spade or a diamond discard and South could set up a trick in that suit. The defense would not be able to take more than three heart tricks provided South did not cover the ten of hearts with the queen. East chose to discard another heart. South ran the nine of spades into East’s jack and East cashed the king of hearts before exiting with a low diamond. South won in hand with the king, crossed to dummy with the ace of diamonds, and led another diamond.

There was nothing the defense could do. Should East play low on the third diamond and let West win the trick, West would have to give South the queen of hearts. East could rise with his queen on the third round, but that would make dummy’s 10 of diamonds the ninth trick. Even if East had started with both diamond honors, he would be forced to lead a spade from his queen-four into dummy’s king-seven. Very nicely played!

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