Source: IBPA Column Service Jun 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 East. Neither Vul

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

K 8
A Q 9 3
West North East South
2 2
4 Pass Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

West led a third-highest five of hearts at both tables in a team game. The first declarer played low from the dummy and trumped East’s nine. He eventually decided to hope that trumps were two-two or that the king of clubs was short. After ruffing the first trick in hand, declarer cashed the ace of clubs and ruffed a club low. Next he returned to hand with a heart ruff to ruff the nine of clubs in dummy with the king of trumps. Declarer returned to hand with a heart ruff to play the ace and another trump. When, unluckily, East had two trump winners, declarer was down one as he also had to lose a trick in each minor.

At the other table, declarer played the ten of hearts from dummy to gain information about East’s holding in hearts. When East covered this with the queen declarer surmised that East had begun with ace-queen to-six hearts, making it highly unlikely that he had the ace of diamonds. After winning the first trick with a ruff, declarer relied on the old dictum: “When in doubt, play to set up the side-suit that offers the most promise“. Accordingly, the king of diamonds was smartly on the table at trick two. West took the ace of diamonds and played a second heart.

Declarer ruffed this, cashed the ace of trumps then played a second round of diamonds. All that East could do was to ruff the diamond and exit with a club. Declarer rose with the ace, then played a trump to dummy’s king before discarding his club losers on dummy’s diamonds, making the contract with an overtrick. Note that the queen-of-spades lead would have defeated four spades.

The complete deal:

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

K 8
A Q 9 3

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