Source: IBPA Column Service Jan 2018

Dealer South None Vul

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

West led the three of clubs. Declarer followed Andrew Robson’s incisive Bols tip: “When a pre-emptive bidder leads a plain suit against a trump contract, play for the lead to be a singleton, but when he leads from a broken holding in his own suit play him for a singleton trump.”

So declarer rose with dummy’s ace at trick one, then drew three rounds of trumps, noting that West held three of them – giving further weight to the supposition that the lead was a singleton.

Declarer saw that he could not afford to play the queen of clubs from hand next. If he did so, East could let the queen hold or win it with the king and exit with the queen of hearts.

Either way, the effect would be the same: he would no longer have the entries to bring in the club suit and he would finish with only nine tricks. Instead, he crossed to dummy by playing his diamond to dummy’s ace to lead the six of clubs towards his hand.

East followed with the eight and declarer covered this with his nine. When this won, declarer continued with the queen of clubs, throwing a low diamond from dummy. East took his king of clubs and exited with the queen of hearts. Declarer won this in dummy with the ace and then cashed the king of diamonds to shed his heart loser.

After ruffing a heart back to hand and cashing the jack of clubs, declarer claimed the two remaining tricks. He made four spade tricks, five club tricks and aceking-ace in the red suits to make the contract.