After a pass by North East opened #1 and South overcalled with 44. West doubled and, with something of a problem, East thought for some while but finally came to the (rather fortuitously) right decision when he passed,
West led #5 and declarer won with dummy's ace. He continued with a trump, winced slightly when East showed out, and went up with his ace. The only chance of escaping four losers lay in being able to take an immediate discard on dummy's hearts, so South played off the ace and king and followed with a third round. When West played the nine, South went up with the queen and his chances disappeared.
Of course the hearts might have been 3-3, but what South had overlooked was that this would not help him. Suppose the hearts break and on the fourth round South discards his diamond. West ruffs with 43 and leads his remaining diamond. Declarer ruffs and leads 4Q but West wins with his king and puts East in with 2A. Now a third round of diamonds promotes a trick for West's 410. Yes, it would require careful defence, but East- West were well up to it.
Thus the right play was to finesse !10 on the third round - risking a two-trick defeat. Now South can take his discard on !Q without being ruffed and loses just three tricks.Reuse content