East-West vulnerable. South deals.
xA 8 6 4
u10 9 5
vK 8 6
wQ 5 4
x10 3 x9 7 5
uA Q J 8 4 u7 6 3 2
vA Q J 5 v9 3 2
w8 3 wA J 6
xK Q J 2
v10 7 4
wK 10 9 7 2
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
Pass 1u Pass 2u
2x 4u 4x Dbl
Pass Pass Pass
Opening lead: Eight of w
One of the oldest rubrics in bridge is “lead partner’s suit.” That should be modified by “unless you know it isn’t necessary!”
East-West were playing five-card majors. South took a chance overcalling with two spades on a chunky four-card suit (a takeout double would have been more appropriate).
West’s four-heart rebid was a distinct stretch, but it was based on the fact that it might tempt the opponents to take a sacrifice at favorable vulnerability.
That was indeed the case, but it required intelligent defense to defeat the opposing game, given the opening lead.
West elected to attack with the top of his club doubleton, declarer played low from dummy and won the first trick with the nine.
Trumps were drawn in three rounds, ending in hand, and declarer continued by leading a club to the queen, which was allowed to win. East captured the next club with the ace and the defense was at the crossroads.
East paused to take stock. Since the auction had marked West with at least five hearts, declarer held no more than one.
West would likely have led a heart had he held either A K or K Q, so that card had to be the king. For an opening bid, West had to have a substantial holding in diamonds, so it was necessary to attack that suit.
Matching the idea to the logic, East shifted to the nine of diamonds and, when South covered with the ten, West’s jack forced the king.
Declarer had no quick entry back to hand to take discards on the good clubs. When South led a heart to the king, West won with the ace and cashed the ace and queen of diamonds for a one-trick set.
Note that, had East routinely returned a heart, the contract would have been made. Although West can win, the ace of diamonds will be the third and last trick for the defense.
Declarer can get to hand with a heart ruff to discard a heart and a diamond from the table on his long clubs and, when West turns up with the ace of diamonds, 10 tricks are in the bag.
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