It Finally Happened!

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

*Precision, 16 or more points
**Any solid eight-card suit
Opening lead: ♣8
Expert partnerships have special agreements about handling certain rare situations. They hope to have a big advantage when that situation comes up. South knew what partner’s suit was so he bid it at the five level, hoping his partner would raise if he held a spade control. The opportunity to use this North-South agreement about the meaning of 4♣ will occur, we imagine, less than once per century. How did it work out on this deal?
It might have worked fine except that East made a Lightner Double, asking for an unusual lead. West had no trouble finding the club lead for East to ruff. East cashed the ♠A and led a spade to West’s king, and West’s shift to the K killed the late entry to the club suit. South tried to cash the ♠Q, but West ruffed it. South over-ruffed in dummy, but had to lose a diamond trick later in the hand for down two.
In case you’re wondering if the contract would have succeeded if the man who held eight trumps were declarer, it wouldn’t have. The ♠A followed by the ♠2 would surely have seen East get a club ruff for down one. Maybe it will work better next century.

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