Originally published in BRIDGE Magazine. Reproduced here with permission of Chess & Bridge and Eddie Kantar.
Dealer South. Love All.
Partner’s double was negative, unlimited, showing four spades. Your double showed a strong hand without clear-cut direction. Partner opted for 5♦ rather than passing the double. The opening lead is the queen of hearts. Plan the play. Diamonds are 1-1.
Your problem is the spade suit. You would like to be able to avoid two spade losers even if West has the king. You can do it, but it will take a little work! The first important step is to duck the opening lead to keep East, the danger hand, from getting in and leading a spade. Say West shifts to a trump which is as good as anything. Win the trump switch (nice play), and play the ace of clubs and ruff a club. Next, another big play: lead the king of hearts from dummy trumping East’s ace. Ruff the ♣Q in dummy and exit dummy with the 10 of hearts discarding your small spade. West is now lead with the ♥J.
Have any good ideas for West?
A spade return goes smack into ‘Jaws’, (the ♠AQ) and any other return can be trumped in dummy while discarding the queen of spades from your hand. Five diamonds made.
Don’t look now but you made an avoidance ducking play at trick one, then you transferred the heart menace from East to West, and, finally you stripped the hand and made a loser on loser play.
The full deal: