Tim Bourke

Teams: Dealer North All Vul

   A
 A 9 6  
 10 7 6 3 2          
 A 7 6 3
 
 Q J 6 5 3 2           
 J 8 2 
 9 4  
 10 5 
   10 9 7          
 Q 10 3 
 A J 8           
 K Q J 9 
   K 8 4   
 K 7 5 4
 K Q 5     
 8 4 2
 
     

The acution:

West
North
East
South
 1 1
Pass  2 Pass 2NT
Pass  3NT End   

Contract: 3NT

Lead: 5

West led the 5, taken by dummy’s bare A. As he had only five top tricks and one more spade stopper, declarer saw that his best hope was to find diamonds 3-2 with the ace onside.

When a low diamond was played from dummy East played the 8 and declarer’s K won the trick.

Next, declarer crossed to dummy’s A and led a second round of diamonds. East rose with the A and declarer followed with the 5 from his hand, leaving him with the bare Q in hand.

All would have been well if he had received a major suit return but East could tell that the diamond suit was blocked and he attacked dummy’s entry by leading the K.

Declarer ducked two rounds of clubs but this led to naught as East persisted with the suit and the contract could no longer be made.

“You should have crossed dummy with the ace of clubs at trick three,” said the ever-unsympathetic North. “Using the heart entry for the second diamond left you ripe for an entry killing club shift. As the cards lay, East could do no better that rise with A and cash three club tricks.

However, that would be the end of the defence. If East exited with a heart, you would win in hand and cash the K before unblocking the Q. You could then cross to dummy with the A and enjoy dummy’s two good diamonds as your eighth and ninth tricks.”