Bad Split. . . No Problem

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

Opening lead: ♠9

West had no appealing lead. Spades was the only suit that wouldn’t give away a trick, so it was a good start for the defense. South won in his hand with the king and took stock.

There would be 10 easy tricks if the missing trumps split 3-2, so South led a heart to the jack at trick two. That won the trick, so he continued with the A, getting the bad news. What now? West had to hold both the K and the ♣A to justify his opening bid, so South set out to end-play him in hearts.

South cashed dummy’s ♠A, crashing his own queen, and continued with the ♠J, discarding a club. West also discarded a club, so South led dummy’s ♠10 and shed another club. West also parted with another club, but he was just postponing the inevitable. Declarer led a heart from dummy, losing the trick to West’s 10. West cashed the K, but then had to lead one of the minors. West couldn’t escape his fate, but he made a good effort by leading the K, which might have been the winner if South had started with a singleton diamond. South won this with dummy’s ace and cashed the ♠8, discarding a club. He crossed to his hand with the Q and conceded a club to West, but he made his contract. Well done!