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106. Wednesday - November 24, 1999 : LIGHTNER MISFIRE

Dealer: East
Vul: All

North

K
10 3 2
10 4 3 2
A K Q 9 2

 

West

East

 

7 6 5
-
K J 9 8 7
J 10 8 7 6

4 3 2
A J 9 8 7 6 5
-
5 4 3

 

South

 

A Q J 10 9 8
K Q 4
A Q 6 5
-

 

South

West

North

East

 
 

 
4
6
End

 
Pass
Pass
 

 
5
Pass
 

3
Pass
Double
 

East's Lighner double requested an "unusual" lead (not a heart or a trump); this double is generally based on a void suit. If West could have put his hand on a diamond, the contract would be down five!.

Alas, West reasonned that East's void could be in either minor. If it were in diamonds, the ruff might not be necessary, because West rated to win one or more diamond tricks. But if it were in clubs, the ruff might be crucial. Hence, West led the J. Oops.

South now can succeed, but it requires exact play. Can you make six spades after the J lead?

SOLUTION

Dealer: East
Vul: All

North

-
10 3 2
10 4 3
K Q 9

 

West

East

 

-
-
K J 9 8 7
10 8 7 6

-
A J 9 8 7 6 5
-
5 4

 

South

 

10 9 8
K Q 4
A 6 5
-

The key play comes at trick one: Declarer must win the club lead in dummy and discard the Q from his hand. The remaining clubs must be left untouched. Three rounds of trumps are led., overtaking the king and discarding a club and a diamond from dummy. This leaves the position shown in the left diagram.

South leads the K and East is forced to duck - if he takes the ace, he is endplayed and must give dummy the lead and declarer the contract.

Now it's West's turn. South leads a low diamond, which West must win (else declarer gets to dummy) and he is hopelessly endplayed. The importance of discarding the Q early is now evident: if South remainded with A-Q-6 and led the Queen, West would simply duck to leave South stuck in his hand without recourse.



Bridge Today, Mar-Apr 1995, Richard Pavlicek, p. 22

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