When Marshall Miles and Mark Bertusek played in the Open Pairs final, they produced an accurate defense to a part-

score contract to produce an elegant ending.


                         S  AJT96

Dlr: North               H  T543

Vul: None                D  -

                         C  J932


          S  853                       S  KQ4

          H  Q872                      H  96

          D  832                       D  AQ65

          C  AQ8                       C  T654


                         S  72

                         H  AKJ

                         D  KJT974

                         C  K7


          WEST       NORTH       EAST       SOUTH

           -         Pass        Pass       1D

          Pass       1S          Pass       1NT (1)

          Pass       2H          All Pass


         (1) 15-17 HCPS


Miles, West, led a club to the queen. A spade back to the queen and a club to the ace made it easy for Bartusek to count out North as a 5-4-0-4, so he switched to a diamond. At this point declarer could have succeeded by ruffing the diamond and playing a crossruff. He eventually would emerge with eight tricks via a coup en passant, but he threw a spade on the  diamond. Miles won the ace and played a trump. Declarer finessed and Bartusek won the HQ and returned a trump. Declarer cashed a third round of trumps, cashed the DK to throw his C9 and finessed the spades again.


Miles won in this ending, with the defense already in possession of six tricks.


                         S  AJ

                         H  T

                         D  -

                         C  J


            S  8                     S  4

            H  8                     H  -

            D  8                     D  Q6

            C  8                     C  T


                         S  -

                         H  -

                         D  JT97

                         C  -


Miles played the DQ and Bartusek's H8 became the seventh defensive winner. But look at his hand -- all four eights

as his last four cards. Have you ever seen that before?





It is a good idea to have the partnership agreement that against preemptive opening bids you should lead the king from ace-king (to get a count signal) since we quite frequently lead an unsupported ace against such contracts.


What happens in the rare instance of your holding a doubleton ace-king? Lead the ace, then the king. What happens after that is up to your partner. If North-South had been on the same wavelength on Board 25 from the Friday evening game, they would have achieved a top for themselves.


                         S  93

Dlr: North               H  832

Vul: E-W                 D  T942

                         C  KJ98


          S  62                        S  AKQJ8754

          H  AKQ764                    H  -

          D  J75                       D  Q863

          C  52                        C  Q


                         S  T

                         H  JT95

                         D  AK

                         C  AT7643


After East preempted 4S, as South you lead the ace and king of diamonds, partner following with a discouraging 2 followed by a suit-preference 4. Declarer should follow with the 6 and 8, but people have been known to let go of their lowest diamond spots to make the 4 an unambiguous signal for clubs.

Now will South have the courage to underlead the CA for the diamond ruff? All I can tell you is if you make the play

you deserve your excellent score!