Sunday 16 May 1999
South opened One Spade, North raised to Two Spades, and South rebid 3NT. A pass at this point was certainly worth considering but, with his five card trump support, North went back to Four Spades and all passed. West led a trump against the spade game and, after winning with the ace, declarer drew the remaining trumps with dummy's queen.
Declarer's first thought was to develop diamonds with the heart finesse in reserve, but he saw no harm in a round of trumps first. "One for lurkers?" was East's jocular comment as he threw a low club, but West had something to worry about. A low diamond looked harmless, but it did not work out. Declarer now led +2 to the nine, jack and queen, and West switched to a club.
Too late! South won East's king with his ace and led another diamond to the king and ace. A heart came back, but now there was no need to finesse as dummy's loser in that suit now went away on the established long diamond. In all, South lost only two diamonds and a club.
If West had kept his four diamonds, a duck on the second round would have established two tricks in the suit for declarer. But a heart return from East would have left South with no quick entry to enjoy his 10 diamonds as the king is blocking the suit.
Game all; dealer South
] Q J 7 6 4
_ 10 5
+ K 7 2
[ 7 6 4
] 10 8
_ 9 8 6 4
+ A 9
[ K 9 8 5 2
] A K 5 2
_ A Q 3
+ J 10 6 4
[ A J
] 9 3
_ K J 7 2
+ Q 8 5 3
[ Q 10 3
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