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by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish



 You are sitting West in the final of the Canadian National Teams Championship, holding:

62 J 97532 K10976.

 What would you lead after the following auction?


West North East South
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 4(1) Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass  

(1) Club shortage, heart fit, slam try

 Did you choose the six of spades, as Robert Lebi did? Here's the complete deal:

North-South vulnerable  West deals

  A J 8 5
A 9 8
A J 10 8 6


6 2
9 7 5 3 2

K 10 9 7 6

K 9 7 3
Q 10 5 4

J 4 3 2

  Q 10 4
K 7 6 3 2
Q 4

A Q 5

 Markland Molson, South, signed off at 4
when Allan Graves, North, tried for slam with a "splinter" raise after showing his diamond suit.


 Lebi followed sound practice by attacking dummy's secondary side suit, and declarer ducked to the king.


 Nader Hanna, East, switched accurately to a club, hoping to force dummy and protect his trump holding. Declarer won the A and ran the queen of diamonds to the king. A second club tapped dummy and left declarer in a tenuous position.


 Although he had the trump spots to guard against two honours fourth in East, he could not afford such a luxury because he still had a losing club. He played A K, intending to play on diamonds if everyone followed, succeeding with three-two trumps and clubs no worse than four-two. When West showed out, he tried a diamond; East ruffed in and declarer lost a club trick for two down; minus 200.

 At the other table, Drew Cannell-John Carruthers had a less revealing auction:

-2; 2NT-3-4,

 Boris Baran led a club to Carruthers' queen. Declarer took a club ruff, and played ace-nine of hearts, running it when East did not split his honours. He lost only a trump and a diamond (two spades went on diamond winners) for plus 650; a 13-IMP swing.

 In the CWTC Final, Sheri Winestock went down in 4
on a spade lead. At the other table, North/South did not reach game . . .

West North East South
Pass 2 Pass 2
2NT(1) Dble 3 Dble
Pass Pass Pass  

(1) Minors

 Rhoda Habert's 1NT opening showed 11-14 points; Kraft's 2
was an artificial, game-forcing inquiry. Roisin O'Hara's daring delayed intervention led to a 500-point set for Gloria Silverman, but would have gained her side a few IMPs if 4 had made. Here the swing was 12 IMPs the other way.