A Read-out

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: South ♠ 7 5 4 2
Vul:None 9
♣ K 9 7 5 4 2
♠ K J 10 8 3 ♠ 9
K Q J 6 2 10 8 7 5 4
J 8 3 10 7 6 4
♣ — ♣ J 10 8
♠ A Q 6
A 3
Q 9 5 2
♣ A Q 6 3
South West North East
1♣ 2♣* 2** 4
4♠ Pass 6♣ All Pass

*Michael’s Cue Bid, at least 5-5 in the majors
**Limit raise or better in clubs
Opening lead: K

North-South were using a competitive structure common in today’s tournament world. When right-hand opponent’s bid shows two specific suits, a bid of the lower ranking of those two suits shows a good hand with the lower of the two remaining suits. A bid in the higher ranking suit shows a good hand with the higher of the other two suits. Hence, North’s 2 bid showed clubs. South’s 4♠ cue bid encouraged North, a player who didn’t need much encouragement, to jump to slam. There were only 11 tricks, but the knowledge that West was at least 5-5 in the majors gave South some ideas.

Declarer won the opening heart lead in hand and ruffed a heart. A club to his ace revealed the club position. South cashed dummy’s A K, followed by the ♣K and a club to his queen, drawing East’s trumps. South cashed the Q, discarding a spade from dummy, and ruffed his last diamond on the table. He had now eliminated all of the red cards from both his hand and the dummy.

Declarer now led dummy’s spade and elegantly ducked when East played the nine! The defenders were helpless. Should East’s nine hold the trick, he would have to lead a heart and yield a ruff-sluff. West could overtake the nine, of course, but the only way for him to avoid giving a ruff-sluff would be to lead a spade back into South’s ace-queen. A pretty hand!