Gettysburg Times – 22 Sep 1995
Neither vulnerable. South deals.
Opening lead: Q
If you are a good guesser, four hearts is a simple contract to make once trumps break evenly. If you are not, you have to rely on sound technique to get home. Once North raised hearts, South made a help-suit trial bid in clubs. Despite holding minimum values, North’s four trumps and club fillers were persuasive arguments in favor of going straight to game.
West led the queen of diamonds, and South was reasonably happy with his contract. After winning the king of diamonds, declarer cashed the two red-suit aces and then exited with a trump. When hearts broke evenly declarer’s satisfaction increased.
In with a high trump, West exited with a low spade. Since West was now marked with 8 points in the red suits and, with the ace of spades as well, might have made a takeout double of one heart, declarer finessed the jack. East won the queen, cashed the ace and exited with the ten, giving declarer one club discard.
But declarer still had to find the queen of clubs to land the game. After cashing the king of clubs, the ten was run to West’s queen — down one.
South could have done a little better. Let’s suppose that when West shifted to the three of spades after winning the second trump, declarer had played low from dummy, East could win cheaply, but is endplayed.
The ace of spades and another gives declarer two spade tricks and limits declarer’s losses to two spades and a trump. A diamond allows South to ruff in hand while discarding a club from the table, and the club loser vanishes. A club return solves declarer’s problem in that suit. Making four-odd.