Bridge - The Scotsman 07/02/2013

North-South missed an opportunity on this deal from the Winter Fours Semi-Final. East responded a wide-ranging 1NT to partner’s opening bid, then shot game in partner’s second suit.

North led the ace of clubs and South dropped the queen, promising the jack. Declarer ruffed the second club and played a heart to the king, which South correctly ducked, and a second heart from dummy. South won, and, knowing that spades were breaking badly, led a third heart to West’s jack. Declarer had made three tricks and lost two in this position:

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If West leads spades from the top he is two down. He can ruff away North’s jack but cannot get back to hand for the remaining spades. He made the good play of leading the eight from hand to guard against a 4-1 break. North played low and declarer made an overtrick. South should appreciate that West was playing the hand like a man with a good spade suit. When she wins the second heart she should offer an unwanted ruff and discard by leading a club. If he ruffs with his last trump in hand he cannot establish spades without losing a ruff to South. If he ruffs in dummy, then draws trump with the jack of hearts North has two clubs to cash when he wins the jack of spades.