Crafty Defense

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: West ♠ K 9
Vul: E-W 8 5 3
J 6 5 4
♣ K 8 5 3
♠ Q 6 5 4 3 ♠ J 8 7
Q J 10 7 6
Q 3 A 8 7 2
♣ Q 10 6 2 ♣ 9 7 4
♠ A 10 2
A K 9 4 2
K 10 9
♣ A J
West North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1
1♠ 2 2♠ 3♠
Pass 4 All Pass

Opening lead: ♠4
Today’s deal is from a Schools Championship in Europe some years ago. West was a young man from France, Romain Tembouret.
The opening spade lead went around to East’s jack and South’s ace. When the ace of trumps felled the jack from West, declarer became concerned about a possible bad split in trumps. He crossed to dummy with the ♠K and led a low heart, playing his 9 when East played low. Tembouret won with his queen and exited with the only card in his hand that would give declarer a problem — the 3.
East won this with his ace and played his remaining trump. South was beginning to think that he should have ruffed a spade while he had a chance, but he still believed that he could make his contract. Declarer thought that Tembouret held the ♠Q and a guarded Q, so he cashed all of his hearts before leading the ♣J to the king and a club back to his ace.
South was down to the bare ♠10 and the K 10. He was certain that West was down to the bare ♠Q and the Q x, so he exited with his spade expecting West to be end-played into leading a diamond for him. Instead, Tembouret won with his ♠Q and cashed the ♠6 to defeat the contract. Nice play!