It is very easy to overlook a line of play that is counterintuitive. Can you use your imagination here?
1) Strong, 22-23 balanced or any game-forcing hand
2) Relay, denying a good 5+card suit
3) Kokish – either hearts or strong balanced
4) Relay to find out which
5) 25-26 balanced
7) Four spades, good all-round controls
8) Roman Keycard Blackwood
9) Four keycards
10) Queen of trumps?
11) Yes, and DK but not CK
After a long auction West was not too exhausted to note that he might make all 13 tricks if the cards lay well. North led the queen of clubs, overtaken by South’s king. Declarer won the ace and played the ace of spades – and the easy contract became more complex when North showed out. How would you proceed?
You might cash three top hearts to discard dummy’s club, then ruff a club to reach dummy, but that will turn out badly if South can ruff the second, or even the third heart – you would be left with three losers to ruff in dummy with the virtual certainty of an overruff. You might concede a club, planning to reach dummy with a club ruff to take the trump finesse – a poor shot if South overruffs. Even if you can ruff the club safely that gives you just 11 tricks unless you can ruff a heart or take a successful diamond finesse.
The simple, virtually guaranteed, line is to establish dummy. Overtake the king of diamonds with the ace to take the trump finesse and draw all the trumps. Then you can safely cash three hearts, discarding dummy’s club loser, and concede a trick to the queen of diamonds – making five spades, three hearts, three diamonds, a club and your contract.