Source: IBPA Bulletin Nov 2017

Dealer West All Vul

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

West led the jack of hearts. East played the queen and declarer ducked. East continued with the ace of hearts, followed by the ten. Declarer took this with the king and paused to assess his chances. He could count only eight certain tricks and so needed to develop another one in either diamonds or spades.

Declarer’s first move was to cash the ace, queen and king of diamonds. East’s low spade discard was a disappointment, but not unexpected. At this point, the contract seemed to depend on the spade finesse. However, this declarer disliked taking finesses whenever there was a chance of gaining a trick by other means.

He cashed the ace, queen and king of clubs. When both defenders followed to all three clubs, East was marked with an original 3=5=2=3 or 2=5=2=4 shape. Disregarding the king of spades, the a priori odds on these East/West cards are 4:3 respectively.

Additionally, declarer thought that, with four clubs and a doubleton king of spades, East might have thrown a club rather than a low spade on the third diamond. So he led his remaining heart. East could take the nine and eight of hearts but then had to lead away from the king of spades.