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Common Game 2017-12-30 Board 5
West
97
9765
Q5
109874
North
A4
Q104
KJ943
632
East
Q6532
J3
1082
AQ5
South
KJ108
AK82
A76
KJ
D
5
West
North
East
South
P
P
1
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Analysis by Craig Hemphill

The given auction will occur most often in practice, whether North intends the 2 bid as a limit bid or as a belated inverted minor raise. It fits most players' concept of what the bid means, and South has the notrump jump previously planned.

With the Q dropping out of the sky on the second round, five diamond tricks are easy, along with four hearts, so long as the T is not squandered on the second round of the suit. With three spades available with the aid of a spade finesse, can those twelve tricks (count 'em!) blossom to thirteen? Well, East has to guard the spade suit and the A if that suit is not lead at trick one. Often enough, the defense will take its trick early, but if not, East cannot withstand the proper play in hearts followed by declarer's cashing all nine red cards! East must come down to four black cards, and that won't stop the spades.

So lack of a club lead plus proper declarer play will account for every plus 720 you see on the score board.

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