Bridge - The Scotsman 12/07/2012
This tricky 4S contract from the European Championships failed at half the tables where it was bid. Over South’s diamond raise West made a responsive double, showing both majors, and East liked her hand.
The first problem is how to tackle spades. If North has a doubleton honour you should lead low to the jack, later felling the king; if South has the doubleton you should lead the ten, running it if North does not cover. Since the East hand is being forced to ruff, it is more convenient to play North for the doubleton.
The defence led diamonds. To keep a trump entry to the long clubs, declarer does best to discard her heart loser on the second round, then ruff the third diamond. Now she crosses to the ace of clubs to lead a spade to the jack.
South wins, but has no good play. If she tries a fourth diamond, declarer ruffs in dummy and plays a spade to the ace, scooping North’s king. Then she runs clubs till South ruffs. Dummy overruffs with the ten of spades and declarer re-enters hand with a heart ruff to make the rest of her clubs.
As the cards lie, declarer can afford to ruff the second and third diamonds, baring the ace of spades.
If South ruffs an early club she can overruff and draw trump with the ace; if South discards, allowing North to ruff the fifth club, all of dummy’s small hearts are discarded and there is no heart loser.
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