Source: IBPA Column Service

IMPs  Dealer South All

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

* The two notrump response was Jacoby, promising four-card spade support and asking for a singleton. South showed a minimum without a shortage but North pressed on to the slam anyway.

Lead: Q

West led the Q, taken by the K. Declarer could count ten top tricks and an eleventh from a club ruff in dummy.

After drawing trumps with the A and K, declarer ran the Q. When West produced the K and East the Q, declarer was down one.

He complained about his bad luck. However, the fault was not with his ill fortune but his defective play. A better approach is to work along elimination lines.

First, draw trumps and cash the A. Next, cross to hand with a trump and ruff the 8 in dummy. Finally, lead a low heart from dummy covering East’s card As the cards lie, this produces a third heart trick immediately if East plays low, and declarer can set up a third heart trick, to discard his diamond loser, if East produces the 10 or Queen.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that if West were to win the eight of hearts with the ten, then any return would give South his twelfth trick. (If the eight forced the queen from West then declarer could claim his contract immediately.)

The complete deal:

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