Monday 16 November 1998
The bidding had been the same at both tables - North opened One Diamond, South responded One Spade, and West overcalled with Two Hearts. North raised to Three Spades, East bravely went on to Four Hearts, and South's Four Spades ended the auction. West led a top heart and, after some thought, switched to #8.
On the face of it, the contract had no play. Neither the trump finessed nor, perhaps better, ace and another trump can avoid the adverse club ruff. So, what had happened when the contract had been allowed to make?
After winning with #A at trick two, the successful declarer had led 2J from hand! It looked as though he was planning a finesse (remember, South had never mentioned his club length) and West played low. South followed with a trump finesse and, although this lost, there was now no way for the defenders to score their ruff.
South's play was interesting - if the adverse clubs were 2-2, he could play them safely and, if they were 3-1, the best way for him to avoid a club ruff was to play the suit himself!
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