Source: IBPA Column Service Aug 2018

Dealer South. E/W Vul

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

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

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

In a team match, the auction and lead (the spade queen) were identical. At the first table, declarer played without apparent thought. He took the first trick in dummy with the ace, drew trumps and cashed the ace of diamonds. Thus, he had to lose two diamond tricks and his contract.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

The second declarer was more circumspect. He saw that the only danger to the contract was a 5-0 diamond break. As declarer could do nothing about it if West had five diamonds, declarer turned his attention to the case when East had all of the outstanding diamonds: he would need to lead diamonds twice through East. If diamonds were 5- 0, West was likelier to have four trumps.

So, declarer decided to keep the ace of spades in reserve as an entry to dummy, in case the diamonds really were 5-0. Consequently, declarer played low from the dummy at trick one and won the spade lead in hand with the king. After drawing trumps in four rounds, while East parted with two spades and two hearts, declarer led the four of diamonds towards dummy.

West discarded a spade and dummy’s king of diamonds won the trick. Declarer called for the two of diamonds, which was covered by the nine and queen. Declarer was then in a position to pick up East’s diamonds while losing just one trick in the suit, by leading diamonds once more from dummy. South thus claimed twelve tricks: two spades, four diamonds and six trumps.

Don’t forget to follow us