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East-West vulnerable, West deals

South ducked the opening heart lead in dummy and East’s ace won the trick. East needed to find an entry to his partner’s hand to get a heart ruff. A trump shift would have done the trick, but the last thing East wanted to do was to start drawing his own trumps. South, known to hold five or six spades, was a big favourite to hold the ace. East shifted to the 10 of clubs, hoping to find his partner’s entry in that suit.

The heart position was known to South, and East holding the ace of hearts meant that West held all of the missing high cards to justify his opening bid. The only issue was the trump suit. There would be no problem if West held two or more spades, as East would not be able to ruff a heart. South turned his attention to the possibility that West held the singleton ace of spades.

The simple solution was to eliminate the minors in both his hand and the dummy before leading a trump. Declarer won the club shift with his ace, cashed the ace and king of diamonds, then cashed the king of clubs and ruffed a club in dummy. South now led a spade from dummy to West’s singleton ace. West led the jack of hearts to let East ruff out dummy’s king. East got his ruff, but was then forced to give up a ruffsluff. South discarded his remaining heart while ruffing in dummy, and then claimed the balance for his contract. Well done!

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 6:04:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/be-prepared/article23699369.ece

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