The Road

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: J

Today’s deal is from a recent competition in Europe. Most declarers in 4♠ were not able to find a road to 10 tricks. They won the diamond lead in hand with the king and either led a spade to the queen or a high club from their hand. The defense was able to cash a heart and play a second round of trumps, or ace and a trump, and declarer came up a trick short.

When Zia Mahmood, the Pakistani expert now living in the USA, was South, he gave the opening lead a lot of thought. He finally decided to rise with dummy’s ace at trick one, crashing his own king, in order to lead a club from dummy at trick two. 10 tricks would have been easy had East risen with his ace, but East made the fine play of ducking. Zia won with his king and ruffed a club in dummy. A diamond ruff in hand was followed by another club ruff in dummy. Zia ruffed another diamond as East shed a heart.

One more club ruff felled the ace from East. Zia ruffed yet another diamond to get back to his hand and led the ♠K. The friendly 2-2 spade split made it impossible for the defense to take more than three tricks. Well done!