Both vulnerable. South deals.
Opening lead: 10
Do you ever wonder why experts sometimes play a hand as if they were looking at all the cards? More often than not, the bidding has been too revealing.
Once South opened the bidding with a weak one no trump (12-14 by partnership agreement) and North had shown interest in the majors, East had little to gain by entering the auction with what was the best hand at the table. East-West were probably outgunned, and East was doing nothing more than passing information to the enemy.
South made good use of that in the play of the hand.
Declarer won the opening lead in hand. Without benefit of East’s strength-showing double, declarer might have gone after diamonds, or led twice toward dummy’s heart honors. Warned that East probably held diamond length as well as both high hearts, declarer instead crossed to the king of spades and successfully finessed the jack.
With West now out of trumps, declarer continued with a diamond, ducking when West discarded an encouraging club. East won and returned the king of clubs to South’s ace, who cashed the ace of trumps and king of diamonds, then ruffed a diamond in hand.
A club ruff in dummy completed the strip of East’s exit cards. After cashing the long diamond, declarer exited with the queen of hearts. That forced East to win and, although the defender could cash another high heart, the table’s jack of hearts became the fulfilling trick.
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