Tim Bourke

Teams: Dealer South; All V.

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

The auction:













Lead: 5

This deal was played in a team game. The auction at each table was the same and each declarer received a fourth-highest 5.

At the first table, declarer played the Q from dummy and this lost to K. Noting that the declarer seemed unperturbed by this, East decided to try a spade switch.

Declarer’s Q to West’s K and the spade return was won by declarer’s A. As he had only seven top tricks, declarer needed to bring in the diamond suit. As there was no reason to play for East to have begun with all of the missing diamonds, declarer continued by cashing the A.

After West discarded a heart, this declarer had to lose a diamond trick and his contract.

The declarer at the other table showed how to make the contract safely. As a spade lead from East could cause difficulties, he called for the A at trick one. As long as East did not gain the lead too early, four diamond tricks would give him contract.

With that in mind, declarer led a low diamond from dummy and when East followed with the six, he played the eight from hand. If West had been able to win the first diamond he would have had no winning return: declarer would make four diamond tricks and have time to set up a second trick in hearts to make his contract. When the eight of diamonds held, declarer was able to play the diamond suit for five tricks and make an overtrick for a useful swing.