In a recent pairs event, the contributor made his day when he played this hand. At both tables, the lead was the 10 of spades. Both Easts won the ace and returned a spade. The declarer at the other table won the spade and cashed the ace and king of hearts, and he could not avoid losing two heart tricks and a diamond for down one.
The contributor was in his element. He knew that the hand was cold unless trump broke 4-1 — not even he could handle a 5-1 break. There was nothing he could do if East held four trump, but if West held four trump and East’s singleton were the eight, the contract could still be made.
At trick three, the contributor led the nine of trump. West did the best he could by covering with the 10. When dummy’s king dropped the eight, it was all over. The contributor returned to his hand with a club and led a trump toward the ace-seven. West played the Jack, the dummy’s ace won, and the seven forced out the queen. No return could hurt the contributor, and he still had a club entry to his hand to use his six of trump to draw West’s five.
All teams in such an event would love to have the contributor as a member of their team.
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.”
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