Whenever opponents whip their pass cards prematurely from the table, let it remind you that a pass can often be very revealing . . . 

Dealer South
E/W Game


West leads A♥ and, assuming a heart ruff in dummy, if West holds K♣ or Q♦, all should be easy. Leading a low club towards dummy’s Q♣ seems the best move. However, when West continues with K♥ and J♥, you ruff high in dummy and East shows out. How does that change your plans?

West is now marked with six hearts headed by ace-king-jack. If he were to hold K♣, he would certainly have ventured a 2H overcall; even with Q♦ he might well have done so. Instead, he passed. So, East is marked with those cards. This leaves the chance to lead towards dummy’s clubs and put in 10♣, hoping it will draw out K♣ but, if this fails, defeat beckons.

Use your knowledge to best effect. Having drawn trumps, cash ♦AK and exit with J♦. East will win and, unless he leads a club, he will proffer a ruff in dummy and a discard of 5♣ from hand.

If, as he should, he leads a small club, play low from hand, running it to dummy’s queen. This wins, and 4S is made.

Paul Mendelson’s new book, ‘The Joy of Bridge’, is out now

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