Rudolph the Great

Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: North ♠ A K
Vul: All J 10 9 3
6 4
♣ A Q J 10 9
♠ J 9 7 4 3 ♠ Q 10 6 5
8 7 6 A K Q 2
K 3
♣ 7 5 4 ♣ K 8 6
♠ 8 2
A Q J 10 9 8 7 5 2
♣ 3 2
North East South West
1♣ 1NT 7 Pass
Pass Dbl All Pass

Opening lead: 7
Another deal thanks to Richard Pavlicek, who tells us that it was played at the mythical North Pole Regional. South was Rudolph, a reindeer with legendary declarer skills. Rudolph’s leap to seven would not meet with everyone’s approval, but anyone could take 12 tricks in diamonds, so it wouldn’t be much of a story if he hadn’t bid seven.
The opening heart lead was covered by dummy’s nine, East’s queen, and ruffed by Rudolph with the 7. Dummy was entered with the ♠A to lead the 4, East playing the three and South the two. The 10 was covered by the king and ruffed by Rudolph, who then cashed all but one of his trumps, discarding all of dummy’s clubs except the ace. This was the position:

Dlr: North ♠ K
Vul: All J 3
♣ A
♠ — ♠ —
7 6 A 2
♣ 7 5 ♣ K 8
♠ 8
♣ 3 2

Rudolph led a spade to the king and the defense was helpless. East had to keep both hearts or a heart ruff would establish the jack. West also had to keep both hearts, or the lead of the jack would establish the three. Both defenders shed a club, so Rudolph cashed the ♣A, following with the three, and ruffed a heart. He took the last trick with the ♣2!

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