Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

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

*Game force with four spades and five hearts
Opening lead: ♣Q
South must have had a club in with his spade when he opened the bidding. The auction illustrates the popular Smolen convention, named after the late Mike Smolen. After a Stayman inquiry reveals that opener has no four-card major, responder jumps to the three level in his four-card major to show five cards in the other major. This allows the strong hand to be declarer in the possible five-three fit.
South won the opening club lead with the ace and ran the J to East’s king. Having no idea about the layout of the club suit, East returned a club. Declarer played his 10 and ruffed West’s jack in dummy. A spade to the king lost to the ace, and West, having no idea that declarer was out of spades, continued with another spade. South played low from dummy and ruffed in hand with the 10. A low heart to dummy’s nine held the trick and revealed the bad trump split.
Declarer led a low diamond from dummy. Had East ducked his ace, South would have won with his jack and started on clubs. Should West ruff the first club, South would over-ruff, draw the last trump, and still have the K as an entry to his hand. East chose to rise with his A and continue with a diamond. South followed the same plan, winning with his jack and leading clubs. West couldn’t refuse to ruff forever. He eventually succumbed to the trump coup and South made his contract.

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