Dealer North All Vul
A A 9 7 6 K 10 9 8 6 Q 8 7
Q J 10 7 10 4 A 7 3 2 K 6 3 8 6 5 3 2 Q J 8 3 J 5 4 2
K 9 4 K 5 2 Q 4 A J 10 9 5
West North East South
1 Pass 2
Pass 2 Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass
This deal was played in a teams match with identical auctions and opening leads, the queen of spades. When dummy was displayed, both declarers realised that they would have nine easy tricks if the club finesse won. At the first table, declarer was somewhat inexperienced: after winning the opening lead with dummy’s bare ace of spades, he ran the queen of clubs. West won with the king of clubs and continued with the jack of spades. Declarer let this hold, but was forced to win the ten of spades continuation with his king. Declarer now ran the clubs, but East was safe, for he could afford to part with a heart and two diamonds. When declarer continued with a low diamond, West rose with the ace while East shed a second heart. West continued with the seven of spades and East took two tricks with the eight and six of spades to set the contract. At the second table, declarer showed his experience by leading a low diamond at trick two. This would always see the contract made when East started with the ace of diamonds and the suit was 3-3 or the jack was doubleton. (If East played low in such circumstances and the queen of diamonds held, declarer would have shifted his attention to clubs and would always have made at least four tricks in the suit along with his contract. If instead East played the ace of diamonds, the diamond suit would have provided four tricks and would also have seen the contact made.) Alas, East did play a low diamond and West took the queen of diamonds with the ace. West then cleared the spade suit in the same manner as at the first table. Here, however, after winning with the king of spades, this declarer played the four of diamonds to the king, felling East’s jack of diamonds. Declarer then had nine tricks: two spades, two hearts, four diamonds and the ace of clubs. Of course, if the jack of diamonds had not been doubleton, the second declarer would have had to fall back on the club finesse as well.