Source: IBPA Column Service OCT 2021

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

**Source: wikipedia: Tim Bourke “is an Australian bridge player and writer. His joint project with Justin Corfield “the Art of Declarer Play” won the International Bridge Press Book of the Year award in 2014.

IMPs Dealer North. Neither Vul

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

While most players would double the opening one club bid with his hand, West was one of those players who did not like to conceal a five-card major. Accordingly, he overcalled one heart. The bidding continued along fairly standard lines from there, although not everyone would have bid four spades over three spades.

West deduced that North/South were bidding game on thin values and had no reason not to lead the Q. This was taken in dummy with the ace and the ace of hearts was led at trick two. Declarer crossed to his hand with a low trump to his king, noting the four-one break. As a result of this development, declarer saw that he needed to play the club suit without loss and, to do that, he would have to be careful not to block the suit.

After ruffing a heart in dummy, declarer led dummy’s ten of clubs to his ace. Noting West’s jack of clubs, declarer ruffed his last heart in dummy. Next he led the nine of clubs and ran it when East played low. Declarer placed West with four-five in the majors. He saw that West had three vacant spaces for the queen of clubs compared to East’s six (his known cards were one spade, four hearts and two clubs). So, running the nine was a 4:1 chance on this assumption and the Principle of Restricted Choice.

When the nine of clubs held, declarer continued his good work by playing the eight of clubs to his king. The defenders were now stymied. If West never ruffed a club, declarer would make two trumps, one heart, two heart ruffs and five clubs. On the other hand, if West ruffed a club, declarer would get the trick back via an extra trump trick.

Note that if declarer had failed to unblock the clubs he would be stuck in dummy on the fourth round of clubs allowing West to win the diamond off dummy and claim the rest of the tricks for the defence.

Principle of Restricted Choice: click here

The complete deal:

A 7 3 2
A
Q 8 6 2
10 9 8 2
Q J 10 9
K 10 9 4 3
K J 10
J
8
Q 8 7 2
A 9 7 4 3
Q 7 3
K 6 5 4
J 6 5
5
A K 6 5 4

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