One of Portugal’s best pairs, and my good friends Manuel Capucho and Maria João Lara, showed me a nice technical hand from yesterday.

Board 9 Dealer N EW vul.

 

J 8
A K Q 4
J 10 5 2
10 6 4

A Q 9 4
7 2
A 8 3
Q J 7 5

 

K 5 3 2
J 9 8 5
K 9 7 4
8

 

10 7 6
10 6 3
Q 6
A K 9 3 2

West          North          East                        South
M. J. Lara                      M. Capucho

                     pass            pass                        pass

1               1              dbl                          2
2               pass           pass                        3
pass             pass           3                          All pass

After a nice lead directing intervention by North, Maria João found herself on a tricky 3 contract. The defence started with Ace and King of hearts, switching to the 8. (As you may see, if North after cashing the two hearts switches to, say, a diamond, declarer is home playing a club and later ruffing 3 clubs in dummy and 2 hearts in hand.) Declarer won in dummy with the King and led the singleton club. South won and led another trump. The Q followed, won by South when dummy discarded a diamond. Another trump. A diamond to the King and a heart ruff brought no joy (as expected), but after cashing the J discarding a diamond, this was the end position:

 


Q
J 10



A 8
7

 

5
J
9

 



Q
9 3

The 7 was led, ruffed in dummy, while North was squeezed on the red suits. Nicely played João! Impeccable timing. The effort was worth 91 out of 118 matchpoints.