A Story Hand Number One

Dealer: N
Vul: N-S

A Q 9 3
5 3
A Q 10
Q 8 6 3
7 6 4 2
A Q 8 7
7 5 2
A 5

K J 10 9 4 2
9 6 4 3
K 7 4

K J 10 8 5
K J 8
J 10 9 2
Lead: A

  1 2 2
4 4 Pass Pass

By Mike Lawrence

After North opened the bidding with one club, the aggressive East-West bidding pushed North-South to a game they might not have bid.

West led the ace of hearts and continued when East encouraged. South ruffed the second heart and drew one round of trumps. When East showed out, the cold looking four spades was actually in jeopardy.

If South draws four rounds of trumps, the defense will get in with a club and will run uncountable heart tricks. And, if South tried to set up the club suit before drawing trumps, the defense might get a club ruff.

South knows one thing for sure. He knows the club honors are divided. If West had both of them he would have led them and if East had both, he wouldn’t have bid two hearts. He would have bid just one.

The danger is that West will take his ace or king of clubs on the first round and lead to East’s honor to get a ruff for the setting trick.

If East could be tempted to play his honor on the first round, there would be no defensive ruff. At trick three, after seeing that trumps were 4-0, South led the queen of clubs from dummy. It is obvious to the kibitzers that East should play low, but it was not obvious to East at the timeEast covered the queen of clubs, winning the trick, but was now helpless. No matter what the defense did, South was able to knock out the ace of clubs and to draw trumps without suffering a club ruff.

At the conclusion of the hand West observed that he would have been better off bidding five hearts which goes down only one.

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