Source: IBPA Bulletin Oct 2017

Dealer North. E/W Vul

A Q J 9
K Q
K Q 4
J 8 5 4
5 2
10 5 4
10 8 5 3
10 9 6 2
7 3
A J 8 7
A J 9
K Q 3
K 10 8 6 4
9 3 2
7 6 2
A 7
West North East South
1 1 1
Pass 4 Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: 4

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

After this fairly simple auction, West led the four of hearts (low from odd) to dummy’s queen and East’s ace. As there was no chance of stopping a heart ruff in dummy, East exited with a heart to dummy’s king.

The success or failure of the contract seemed to depend on the location of the ace of diamonds. However, declarer found an extra chance. After cashing the ace of trumps, declarer played a club to the ace and another club.

East won the trick with the queen of clubs and got off play with his remaining trump. Declarer won in dummy with the nine of spades and led the eight of clubs. When the king of clubs appeared, declarer ruffed it and had a tenth trick that did not depend on who held the ace of diamonds.

Declarer took five trump tricks, one heart, one heart ruff, one diamond and two clubs. Only an initial diamond lead defeats the contract. Declarer can even foil a low diamond shift from East by leading clubs from the dummy to deny East the opportunity to unblock a club honour (declarer ducks), as he could do if declarer starts clubs by leading the ace from hand. In the latter case, declarer would have to either allow West to gain the lead in clubs or for West to guard the suit by covering West’s ten of clubs with dummy’s jack.