Source:IBPAColumn Service NOV 2022**Source: wikipedia:Tim Bourke “is an Australian bridge player and writer. His joint project with Justin Corfield “the Art of Declarer Play” won the International Bridge Press Book of the Year award in 2014.IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul
Q J 7 6 3
7 4 3
8 7 5 2
A K 10
Q J 2
A K J 10 9
South’s 3NT rebid promised about twentyfive high-card points. North judged his hand was not as likely to be of as much value in a notrump contact as it would be in a heart contract, so he transferred to that denomination.
West led the 10. East took the ace and king and continued with the eight of diamonds, clear suit-preference for spades. West ruffed the third round of diamonds and exited with a spade to East’s queen and declarer’s king. Declarer then cashed the ace and king of trumps, noting that both opponents followed.
Declarer saw that the contract would depend on playing the club suit without loss. While the a priori odds favoured cashing the ace and king of clubs, declarer decided to gather more information, despite the very slight risk of suffering an adverse ruff: he cashed the ace of clubs and the ace of spades. When these passed off uneventfully, declarer ruffed the ten of spades high in dummy. After East discarded a diamond on this trick, declarer drew East’s remaining trump with dummy’s queen of hearts.
Declarer now knew that East had begun with two spades, three trumps and five diamonds, leaving that defender with an original length of three cards in clubs. So declarer led a low club from dummy. East followed with a low club and declarer brought home his contract by playing the jack from hand.
Many declarers would have overlooked the possibility of gathering more information about the defenders hands. They would have ruffed the ten of spades instead of cashing the ace first, and drawn the last trump before playing clubs from the top and finding themselves one trick short of making the game.
The complete deal: