Toledo Blade – 17 Jun 1951
Neither vulnerable. South deals.
We have frequently stressed the thesis that the ideal trump holding is four trumps faced by four in the dummy, particularly where there is a five card suit on the side that may be used for discards. Today’s hand provides an interesting illustration. It will be seen that the final contract of six diamonds is superior to six hearts, in that after trumps are drawn, a heart provides a discard for North’s losing spade and declarer need lose but one club trick. A word or two on the auction.
There are many players who will take issue with the opening bid, but those in tournament circles are less apt to find it objectionable. If the opposition should prove to have some strength as the result of which a fight ensues, South will be pleased at having gotten in the first blow and assured his side of a favorable opening lead.
North, holding a powerhouse opposite partner’s opening, began to think in terms of slam and made his intention known with a jump shift of three diamonds. South concluded that it would be the better part of valor to refuse an immediate raise lest his partner’s already rising temperature be brought up to the boiling point.
He was content to make the noncommittal rebid of three hearts. South’s final decision to bid six diamonds is worthy of note. He had already rebid hearts and if North wishes to return to that suit, he is at perfect liberty to do so.
At one table a contract of six hearts was reached. Due to a fortunate distribution of the cards and careful play, the contract was fulfilled for the top score. The king of clubs was opened and taken by the ace. It was apparent that the hand could be made only if West, who is known to have the queen of clubs, also has the king of spades. The trumps were, therefore, drawn and all the red cards run down, reducing all hands to three cards. Declarer had the queen-7 of spades and the jack of clubs, while dummy held ace-4 of spades and a club.
West, forced to reduce In three cards, had to hold the king and jack of spades and the queen of clubs. The jack of clubs now forced him into the lead and he was obliged to lead away from the king of spades.