Friday 02 January 1998
4Q J 9 7
2A Q J 9 7 3
4K 4 2 43
!J 10 9 7 !A 8 5 4 3 2
#J 10 9 7 #8 5 3 2
26 2 25 4
4A 10 8 6 5
#Q 6 4
2K 10 8
Most pairs reached 64 on this deal - not the greatest of contracts, but reasonable enough. With the trump finesse wrong, it looks as though everything depends on the lead: if West chooses a heart, it is all over.
I was lucky; so muddled was our auction that West led the #J. I cashed #A,K, risked coming to hand with a club, and discarded !K on #Q. Now I could try for an overtrick. Living dangerously, I risked a club ruff and ruffed a heart on the table to try the trump finesse. No joy, but no ruff, and plus 1,430 was an excellent score.
A colleague later admitted to minus 100 on the hand. Obviously, I thought, his auction had attracted a heart lead, but his shifty look suggested that I should probe more deeply. It was a sad tale. For some unfathomable reason, West had led the 22 against 64. This was so clearly a singleton (!), that declarer decided his best bet was a simple trump finesse. When this failed, West lost no time in switching to a heart.
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