Phillip Alder
Phillip Alder

Source: ACBL: Phillip Alder is a columnist for The New York Times and a syndicated columnist for 22 years with United Feature Syndicate. His column appears in over 200 papers worldwide. He has also helped to produce the Daily Bulletins at various WBF Championships and is a member of the WBF Youth Committee. Alder is the Associate Editor of The Bridge World magazine.”

IMPs Dealer East. Both Vul

5 4
A 3 2
A 10 9 8 6 3
8 7
A K 6 3
Q 6 4
K Q
Q J 10 3
West North East South
1 1NT
Pass 3NT Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: K

South might have made a take out double, hoping to hear his partner bid spades.

But what would South do if North bid 2 in reply to the double?

He would suddenly remember an important appointment! And overcalling 1NT doesn’t rule out spades as North might use Stayman.

How should South plan to bring home nine tricks after West leads the K?

It is a surprise when West leads the K. But you mustn’t let the surprise rush you into an error.

Start by checking your top tricks. After the lead, you have six: two spades, two hearts and two diamonds. You apparently have three top diamonds, but not unless you have a dummy entry. And the opening lead is threatening to dislodge your one dummy entry outside diamonds.

You must play low from the dummy at trick one. Then, when West continues with a second heart, win in hand with the queen.

Now it is time to play on diamonds, You should cash the king, then overtake the queen with dummy’s ace. If the jack drops, fine. But if he doesn’t continue with the10.

You still have the A in the dummy as the entry, and the defenders cannot collect more than four tricks: one heart, one diamond and two clubs.

The complete deal:

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

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