Main Column 7C08 by Richard Pavlicek
|3 NT|| 10 2|
A K 5 4 3
A 8 6 3
| K Q J|
Q J 10 6
Q J 8 7
| 8 6 5 4 3|
Q J 10 7
|Lead: K|| A 9 7|
A 6 4 3 2
K 5 2
So what game can be made? Make a guess before reading on, and later you might stump your friends who do not read this column.
Your guess was probably four hearts, a likely candidate in a five-two trump fit. But no, it cannot be made. There are eight easy tricks: three natural trump winners plus the aces and kings in the side suits. Declarer can obtain a ninth trick with careful play, but the 10th trick will elude even the finest declarer. Try again.
Five diamonds? Or five clubs? Either contract seems improbable since an additional trick is required. And youre right; five of a minor is out of the question. Well, whats left? You guessed it four spades is the only makable game. In a three-two trump fit!
Assume West makes the best lead of the spade king. Win the ace and cash all of your top tricks in the side suits, ending in the North hand. Lead a heart and ruff with the spade seven (unless East ruffs with the eight, then simply overruff); ruff a diamond with the spade ten; then ruff another heart with the spade nine. The opponents are helpless to prevent this, and declarer escapes with 10 tricks as Ripley would say, believe it or not.
Bridge can be quite perplexing. Just when you think you understand it, a deal like this comes along.
© 7-20-1986 Richard Pavlicek