Source: IBPA Column Service Jul 2018

Dealer South. Both Vul

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

This was the auction at both tables in a teams match. Each West led a fourth-highest two of spades.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

The first declarer took the trick with the ace of spades and played the ace, king and another diamond. West won the trick with the ten of diamonds and cashed the queen of diamonds, East discarding a low heart and a low club.

Declarer took West’s exit of the queen of spades with the king and cashed the queen, ace and king of clubs. Next, he led the two of hearts toward his hand. East played low and declarer’s queen of hearts won the trick.

Alas, with only king-six-four of hearts left, declarer had to lose the last three tricks and finished down one.

At the other table, the declarer counted seven top tricks with another available in hearts. He judged that the best chance of making the contract was to play West for the jack of hearts.

Accordingly, after winning the first trick with the king of spades, since he did not want a shift, this declarer led a low heart at trick two. West rose with the jack of hearts and played the queen of spades. Declarer took this with the ace and continued with the six of hearts. Dummy’s ten forced East’s ace and declarer claimed nine tricks: two spades, two hearts, two diamonds and three clubs.