Great Britain’s Justin Hackett is one of the many players who, having won the Junior European Team Championships, has gone on to perform with distinction in the ‘oldies’ version of the game.
He was involved in The Premier League. No, not representing his beloved Manchester United, but rather the bridge version organized by the British Bridge League. This fascinating deal came up in the second round.
A major suit lead presents no problem. Declarer wins in hand and plays the ace of clubs and a club. He can win the return, draw trumps, cross to dummy with a diamond and ruff a heart. The fall of the king means there is no need to hazard the diamond finesse. Justin had to face the more challenging diamond lead. He won with the ace and came to hand with the ace of hearts to start on the trump suit. East won the second round and exited with a spade. Justin won and ran his clubs to arrive at this four-card ending:
Declarer discarded the five of diamonds on the penultimate trump and East had no answer. Parting with a major suit king is obviously fatal, whilst releasing the seven of diamonds
allows declarer to cross to the ace and then return to hand with a ruff to cash the master diamond.
You can see why he was a champion!