Source: IBPA Column Service MAR 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. Both Vul

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

This deal came up in a team game and the auction was the same at both tables. East’s two-diamond opening was weak; South’s cue-bid of three diamonds showed at least five-five in the majors and at most a five-loser hand; North’s four-diamond bid asked South to choose.

West led a third-highest two of diamonds and, after both East players took their two diamond tricks, they had to find a shift.

At the first table, East tried a crafty queen of hearts at trick three since the alternatives were so unappealing. Declarer looked at this sceptically, thinking that there was no way East would lead the queen of hearts from a queen-jack holding. Then he asked himself,

“Why did East make such a weird shift when he could have led a trump if he had held one?”

So, declarer played the king of hearts and led the ace and another trump to West’s king, unblocking the queen as East discarded diamonds. After winning the trump return, declarer drew West’s remaining trump and then played a heart toward dummy’s ace. The appearance of the jack of hearts allowed declarer to claim his contract.

At the other table, East thought about the auction before playing to trick three, asking himself: “Why did South bid four spades rather than four hearts?”

That bid suggested that South’s spades were somehow better than his hearts. The only conclusion that East could reliably draw was that South probably had six spades. As a result, he concluded that South had begun with 6=5=2=0 shape and so led the queen of clubs at trick three. It did not matter what declarer did then, he had to lose a trump and a heart for down one.

The complete deal:

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

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

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