Tim Bourke

IBPA Column Service example 831

Dealer West. EW Vul.

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

The Auction:

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

West led the three of hearts. Declarer took East’s ten with the jack and played the queen of clubs. East took this with the ace and returned the five of hearts to the four, nine and ace.

Declarer continued with a low club to the ten and West’s king. West cashed the king and two other hearts to set the contract one trick. “Perhaps I should have tested the spades and, if they were 3-3, tried the diamond finesse,” declarer offered.

“Rubbish,” said North, allowing some of his disappointment with this feeble effort of declarer-play to show. “All you had to do was let the ten of hearts hold at trick one. As the cards lie, East would not have been able to do better than play the five of hearts at trick two.

West would have covered the Q with the king and dummy’s ace would have won the second trick. At trick three you would have played a club and the defence would have been helpless.

If East had won the A, he would have been out of hearts, while if West won the trick, he could have set up the heart suit, but would have lacked the entries to cash them.

You would have made three spades and two tricks in each of the other suits and, by the way, the contract.”