N-S vulnerable


{spade} A 8 7 3

{heart} 4

{diam} K Q 10 6

{club} A Q 7 5


{spade} 2

{heart} Q J 9 6 2

{diam} 9 8 4 2

{club} J 8 6


{spade} Q 9 5

{heart} A 10 8 7 5

{diam} A 7 3

{club} K 10


{spade} K J 10 6 4

{heart} K 3

{diam} J 5

{club} 9 4 3 2

The bidding: North EastSouthWest 1 {diam} 1 {heart} 1 {spade} 3 {heart}3 {spade} Pass4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} Q

Icontinue a series on "trump control." This usually means preserving enough trumps so you can safely set up and cash your other winners, but today's declarer must keep control to prepare an end play.

East returned a heart at the second trick, and South took the king and cashed the A-K of trumps.

He next led the jack of diamonds, and East won, cashed his queen of trumps and exited with a diamond.

South could discard two clubs on dummy's good diamonds, but at the end he had to try a club finesse with the queen.

Down one.

South must leave the trumps alone temporarily and force out the ace of diamonds at Trick Three.

He wins the diamond return and takes the K-A of trumps.

When West discards, South leads good diamonds.

If East ruffs the fourth diamond, he is end-played.

Whether he leads a club, giving South a free finesse, or a heart, yielding a ruff-sluff, South takes the rest. If East refuses to ruff the fourth diamond, South leads a trump for the same end play.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A 8 7 3 {heart} 4 {diam} K Q 10 6 {club} A Q 7 5.

Dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner and the next player pass, you double, and your partner bids one spade. What do you say?

Answer: Bid three spades. If you had doubled in the direct position, you'd raise to two spades since partner's minimum response would show at most nine points. But a "balancing" double may be made with light values, hence you must bid more strongly to show a good hand.

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