Source: » Those Extra Chances in Bridge»

Many contracts depend on a particular card being in the hand of the righ opponent. Even so, it may not be clear how to play in manner that will give the defenders no opportunity for a counter-stroke.

Dealer: South  All Vul

   10 8 6
 7 4 3
 A 6 4 2
 5 3 2
 4 2   
 Q J 10 
 J 7 5 3  
 J 10 9 8             
   A 3 
 9 8 6 5 
 K 10 9  
 K Q 6 4              
   K Q J 9 7 5
 A K 2
 Q 8 
 A 7
West    North      East      South
Pass      2NT      Pass      3
Pass      4      End       

* N/S were playing the Acol System, in wich the opening bid of: 22, 2 are forcing for one round.

In this case North gave the weakness response of 2NT. Having shown a bid hand already, it was sufficient for South to bid 3 . Holding an ace and some trump support, North had a sound raise to 4.

Contract: 4  Lead: Q

South won with the A. It seemed at first that there was a certain loser in each suit, but it occurred to South in time that if he could find East with the K he might succeed in establishing a second trick in diamonds. On this he would be able to dispose of one of his losers, either a heart or a club.

Realizing that he would need entries to dummy for this manoeuvre, South led the K from hand in the naive expectation that this would tempt the defenders to part with the A.

East had played the game before, however, and though he could not visualize the entire hand he saw that dummy was short of entries and decided to hold up the A.

East won the second trump and exited with a heart, won by the K. The declarer now had what backgammon players call a nothing game. He was able to cross to dummy on the third round of trumps and lead a diamond towards the Q, but East went up with the K on first round, after he had cashed the Queen in South was unable to cross to dummy to enjoy a trick with the A.

The mistake was the earlier lead of K. South should have led the 9 and overtaken with the10. If East holds off, South plays a diamond from the table at once. East takes the King and return a heart. South cashes the Q, forces out the A, and is able to enter dummy on the third round of trumps. His losing club now goes away on the A.