In this hand, West and his partner were playing a one-club opening bid that was strong, therefore, West opened with a one-diamond bid. West led the ace of clubs and a low club. Because there was no way that the declarer could avoid losing a spade, he needed to limit his diamond losers to one trick.
Declarer won the club continuation and drew two rounds of trump, ended in his hand and led a low spade. West took the ace of spades and led another club. Declarer prepared for an endplay by cashing the king of spades. Declarer returned to his hand with the ace of diamonds and led a low diamond.
Had West played low, or even had he played the Jack of diamonds, declarer would have been home free. East would have been forced to win the queen and, with nothing left but spades, been forced to give a ruff and sluff, allowing declarer to get rid of his diamond loser.
West had seen this play before. He knew that if declarer had the ace and queen of diamonds, he would have finessed, because even if the finesse lost, he would still make the contract if West held the Jack of diamonds.
West played the king of diamonds, swallowing his partner’s queen (known as the Crocodile Coup), which allowed him to take the Jack of diamonds to set the contract one trick.
Donna Swan is a resident of Longboat Key, an ardent bridge player and an American Contract Bridge League certified director who plays “for the fun of it.”
WHERE TO PLAY
Bayfront Park Recreation Center
Duplicate bridge games are at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Larry Auerbach at 758-2017 to reserve your spot.