STRANGE things may happen when you take your eye off the ball in a Pairs event. This example comes from the Senior Pairs in Poznan, where senior moments abounded.
North suggested 3NT as a possible game, but South did not fancy that contract and pulled to 3D, missing a chance. 3D appears to have the same nine tricks as 3NT; there are only three club losers, but no obvious tenth trick. +110 would be a poor Pairs score, but you should never give up. West led the king of hearts, and declarer won and ruffed a heart in case there was a bad trump break. She played king and ace of diamonds, and ruffed another heart, then drew the last trump. Each defender had to make one discard, and each discarded a club. Declarer led an innocent-looking low club towards the ten in dummy. West ducked, East won the queen. His next play was to cash the ace of clubs, felling partner’s king. He played a third club to the jack.
At trick ten declarer played her last trump. West had to reduce to three cards. When he discarded a spade declarer dropped his queen to make eleven tricks and tie with those who played in a no-trump partscore.