Join Bridge Winners
A Rosenberg Special
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In the fifth segment of the Senior USBC, Michael Rosenberg demonstrated why he is one of the greatest declarers in the world. This was Board 11 (rotated):

North
J753
K1073
4
10843
South
AQ
AQ2
Q82
AK752
W
N
E
S
P
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

West leads the 10 against your 3NT contract. Plan the play.

The full deal (click NEXT to advance the play):

Morse
K10986
6
AJ106
QJ6
Zia
J753
K1073
4
10843
Sutherlin
42
J9854
K9753
9
Rosenberg
AQ
AQ2
Q82
AK752
W
N
E
S
P
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
1
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
3
4
A
3
1
0
A
6
3
9
3
2
0
K
J
8
4
3
3
0
5
Q
10
5
0
3
1
8
5
2
Q
3
4
1
7
6
4
5
3
5
1
2
10 tricks claimed
N/S +430
7

If clubs run, declarer has 10 tricks: two spades, three hearts, and five clubs. If clubs don't run, however, the defense will almost certainly be able to shift to diamonds and defeat the contract (unless East has the AK or West has the AK accompanied by the club entry).

Rosenberg found an elegant way to dissuade a diamond shift: he won the spade ace at trick one. This convinced West that his partner held the Q, so he could put him in to shift to a diamond, which succeeds whenever East has the K or Q. Alternatively, if declarer had opened 2NT with a singleton A, the defense has four spades, the Q, and the A. Sure enough, upon winning the Q, West played the 8, and declarer had nine tricks (although he took 10 when East unguarded hearts later in the play).

The defense has a hard-to-find counter: East can discard the 2, which reveals the position. This discard is unintuitive but probably cannot hurt: if partner has Q109x(x), the spade discard doesn't cost, and it pays dividends when declarer has been brilliant on the actual layout.

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