Source: IBPA Column Service Jun 2018 Dealer North. Both Vul
Q J 2 A 3 A 8 4 K J 9 6 2
10 9 7 5 Q 10 6 5 9 2 7 4 3 8 6 4 4 K Q J 10 7 6 3 8 5
A K 3 K J 9 8 7 2 5 A Q 10
West North East South
1NT 3 3
Pass 3NT Pass 6
Pass Pass Pass
Both South players in a team game reached a fair six hearts. Both received the lead of the nine of diamonds, suggesting that the diamonds were at least 7-2 since, with three diamonds, West would have led his lowest card. The first declarer was a good, if somewhat unimaginative, player.
Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke
After winning the first trick with the ace of diamonds, he cashed the ace of trumps and led a second one. When East threw a diamond, declarer had to concede two trump tricks to West, finishing down one. The other declarer was both more experienced and a student of the odds. After winning the first trick with the ace of diamonds, he crossed to hand with a spade to the ace and led the jack of trumps, running it when West followed with a low card. After playing a low trump to dummy’s ace, declarer came back to hand with the ace of clubs and cashed the king of trumps, claiming twelve tricks after conceding a trump to West’s queen. What are the odds, given the diamonds are breaking 7-2 and there is no defensive ruff? The first declarer succeeds when trumps are 3-2 (about 58%) and also when East has a singleton ten or queen, about a 70% chance. The second declarer makes his contract when trumps are 3-2 or when West has four trumps including the queen, about an 83% chance.