Source: IBPA Column Service JAN 2022

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.

MPs Dealer South. Neither Vul

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

In a pairs game, all but two Souths declared in 3NT. The lead was almost universally the six of hearts.

Declarer usually ducked the king of hearts and covered the continuation of the ten of hearts with his jack. West won with the queen of hearts and now had a decision to make. Alas, most continued with a third heart to declarer’s ace. When this occurred, the nine of diamonds was run to East’s queen.  Declarer took the spade shift with his king then played a second diamond to the ten and ace. When East again exited in spades, declarer had nine tricks: two spades, one heart, one diamond and five clubs.

At one table, West did not play a third round of hearts, instead shifting to the queen of spades. When asked later why he did so, West explained, “Playing a third heart seemed pointless as I did not have an entry to cash any heart winners. Also, on the bidding, partner could have at most six points in addition to the king of hearts. So the best chance for defeating the contract was that he had at least three spades plus the ace and queen of diamonds. Also, the switch could work if he had a black king and the queen of diamonds, provided declarer misguessed the diamonds.”

The spade shift worked very well. Declarer took the queen of spades with the king and ran the nine of diamonds to East’s queen. The spade continuation limited declarer to just eight tricks for a shared top.

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