Source: 15th International Bridge Festival Madeira, Funchal, November 5-11, 2012 Bulletins

Quite a few got too high on this board from the first session in the pairs.

Board 4 (first session) Dealer W NS vul.


K 7 2
J 10 6 4 3
Q 10 6 2

Q 5
K J 9 5 4 2
A J 7


10 9 8 6
6 3
A 9 2
K 9 8 5


A J 4 3
A 10 8 7
8 7 5
4 3

Lots of pairs ventured game, only one successfully when winning 3 NT. Those who rebid 2 hearts over partner’s 1 spade response, were in for a plus score, some in 3 hearts also won their contracts. Seven declarers won 9 tricks in low heart contracts, and one even 10. They all got either a club lead, or the heart queen.

I got a diamond lead, and did what seemed normal: Unblocked the other diamond honour to throw a spade on the ace after having entered dummy on the club king. Some followed the same line but played a heart to the jack, for the loss of four trump tricks. I played a heart to the king for 8 tricks and a decent 73 % score, losing “only” three trump tricks. But I could have done better! Can you see how?
Win the diamond king and play a small heart from hand at trick two! The defence can cash two spades, but then you go to dummy in clubs after having cashed your second diamond honour, and discard your club loser on the diamond ace. A small heart to the 9 keeps the trump losers to two, and you score great for 140! I must admit that that line never crossed my mind…