Friday 21 August 1998
East certainly did his best to muddy the waters when, after two passes, he opened Three Spades. In practice, South overcalled with Five Clubs and was raised to the small slam by his partner. (I doubt that I would have reached this contract; I am quite sure that I would have preferred Three No-trumps to Five Clubs, but then West might have competed with Four Spades.)
West led the jack of spades against Six Clubs and, after winning and drawing trumps, declarer led D2 from hand. The contract would have been straightforward on any 3-2 heart break, but there was no rush to test the suit. Now it was West's turn to shine. Look what happens if he automatically plays low: Dummy's ten forces East's king and West is left in sole control of both of the red suits. Then the other top spade and the rest of the trumps finish him.
Foreseeing this possibility, West brightly went in with #A and got off lead with !J. It looked as though he had avoided the impending squeeze but South found a neat counter-attack. He won the heart lead in hand and crossed to !Q, exposing the not unexpected 4-1 break. Then, placing East with #K, he led #Q from dummy. East covered and South ruffed. Now poor West was again left to look after both the hearts and the diamonds and, when declarer played off all of his black suit winners, he was forced to surrender. It was an elegant demonstration of what is termed "transferring the menace".
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