The Dentist's Coup

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: ♠K

Sabine Auken, from Germany, has long been recognized as one of the world’s best players. She was South in today’s deal.

East’s aggressive preempt jockeyed North-South into a dangerous heart contract on a 4-3 fit. A contract of 5♣, instead, would have only needed declarer to lead a club to the king on the first round of trumps. Auken won the opening spade lead with her ace and immediately led the ♣J. Had West risen with his ace, he would have been able to give his partner two club ruffs to defeat the contract. This was far from clear and ducking the ace seems like the normal play.

Auken played dummy’s king and continued with another club to her 10. West took his ace and gave his partner a club ruff as South unblocked her nine. She ruffed the spade return with dummy’s queen and led a low heart to her jack, which West had to duck. She ruffed her last spade with dummy’s K and now made the key play. She cashed dummy’s K before leading a diamond to her ace and then leading the 10. West won with his ace, but he had to put Auken back in her hand, with either a trump or a spade ruff, to draw the last trump. Had Auken not extracted both of West’s diamonds, he would have been able to put dummy on play with a diamond and assured a trick for his 8.

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