Source: IBPA Column Service Aug 2018

Dealer North. E/W Vul

K 10 9 8 5
A 6
J 6 5 4
J 10
J
J 10 9 7
K 9 2
K 9 8 5 2
6 4
8 5 2
A 10 8
A 7 6 4 3
A Q 7 3 2
K Q 4 3
Q 7 3
Q
West North East South
Pass Pass 1
Pass 21 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

1- Good hand, fit for spades.

After North showed a good raise in spades by using Drury, South bid the game without further ado.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

West led the jack of hearts, which he would not have done if declarer had bid the suit. It proved to be an unfortunate lead: declarer won with dummy’s ace of hearts, then drew trumps with the ace and king.

Declarer continued with the king and queen of hearts, on which he discarded one of dummy’s clubs. After ruffing the four of hearts in dummy, declarer called for dummy’s remaining club.

East rose with the ace of clubs and, when declarer followed with the queen, he relied on his partner to give him count in the suit. After West signalled an odd number of clubs, East decided to believe that the queen of clubs was a singleton. So, he shifted to the ace and another diamond.

West took the second diamond with his king and exited with the nine of diamonds. Declarer claimed the balance, making ten tricks: five trumps, three hearts, a heart ruff and a diamond.

If East had exited with a club at trick eight instead of a diamond, declarer would have thrown a diamond from hand and ruffed in dummy. As a result, he would have lost only two diamonds and a club, also making his contract.

Note that there would have been no happy ending for declarer if West had led a club.