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128. Thursday - December 16, 1999 : DEFENSIVE COUP

Dealer: North
Vul: N-S

North





 

West

East

 

3
A 9 7 3
J 9 7 6 4
A 7 5

A 10 9 6 4
10 8 5 2
K 10
4 2

 

South

 





 

South

West

North

East

 
 

 
3NT

 
End

1
 

1
 

With a singleton in your suit and two aces, your partner, West, made the right decision to lead his own suit. He started with the 6. Most declarer would duck this and hope that East began with a doubleton diamond and two aces, whereupon the defense will score only one diamond trick and three aces. On the actual deal, if declarer does play low, East can win and return a diamond. Because West has two entries, the diamond suit can be set up before declarer has nine tricks.

But declarer rose to the occasion, however, by going up with the ace of diamonds - he simply assumed that the king was offside. It appearred now that he had blocked the diamond suit. Is it?

SOLUTION

Dealer: North
Vul: N-S

North

J 7 5 2
Q 6 4
A Q 2
Q J 6

 

West

East

 

3
A 9 7 3
J 9 7 6 4
A 7 5

A 10 9 6 4
10 8 5 2
K 10
4 2

 

South

 

K Q 8
K J
8 5 3
K 10 9 8 3

New York expert Michael Polowan teamed up with Tel Aviv expert Elyakim Shaufel made a rare defensive coup.

Polowan, East, countered declarer's play with an unblock! He dropped the K under the ace, and on the next trick, when West gained the lead with the A, he was able to lead the J, setting up three diamond tricks.

Well done!

Bridge Today, Jul-Aug 1993, Martin Hoffman, p. 46

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