HAND NO 6: MINOR OPENING

Dealer: South
Vul: None

North

7 3
J 4 2
A Q 10 7 2
9 5 4

 

West

East

 

J 8 6 4 2
9 8 3
K 5
K J 2

Q 10 5
Q 10 6 5
9 8 6 4
Q 8

 

South

 

A K 9
A K 7
J 3
A 10 7 6 3

 

South

West

North

East

 
 

1(1)
2NT(3)
Pass

Pass
Pass
Pass

1(2)
3NT(4)
 

Pass
Pass
 

(1) 3+ , 13-21 HCP

(2) 3+ , 6+ HCP, forcing for one round

(3) Balanced hand, 18-19 HCP, stoppers for the unbid suits, invitational

(4) Game, 6-13 HCP

CONTRACT: 3NT South

OPENING LEAD: 4 (4th best under an honor)

PLAN

Six sure winners: two spades, two hearts, one diamond and one club.

Line of play: play the diamond suit for extra winners (rather than the club suit)

PLAY

Trick 1 W: 4, 3, Q, K

Trick 2 S: J, K, 2, 4

It is tempting for South to win the ace and play for an overtrick: five diamonds, two spades, two hearts and one club.

This line of play will work if the diamonds split 3-3. However, a 2-4 split in favour of East will produce only three diamond tricks, declarer having no entry to dummy to cash the fifth diamond when established.

A safer line of play is to forget about the extra trick and let the diamond king win at trick two.

Following this safety play, declarer can now win any return and cash his nine winners by leading his last diamond toward dummy: two spades, two hearts, four diamonds and one club.

RESULT

Declarer makes his contract.

The defense takes four tricks: the diamond king, two clubs and one trick in the majors.

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