This hand comes from the Australian Swiss Pairs held recently at Wrest Point Casino.
The event format is imp pairs where your imp score is determined by the difference between your score and the average score of the field on that board. Because you are dependent on what the field is doing, it is necessary to be lucky enough to play more than your share of the boards especially games and slams. Any game bid and made against you is some loss and any slam will be at least eight imps out! In round three, we were beaten by opponents who bid and made a game and a slam against us that the field didn’t. Even though we beat five of their eight contracts, these two losses of 10 and 11 imps led to an overall loss. On board 26, they bid the very light game as shown below. One can imagine the board being passed out and it was at 12 of 60 tables. Game was reached at only four tables and made only once. Both East and West certainly bid up!
The response to 2NT showed a good five card suit and a good hand. The lead of a heart looks normal but it lets the contract home. If South continues with a second heart, declarer will ruff two hearts. Since the only quick entry is a top trump, declarer will serendipitously drop the offside QS. Now a diamond to the 10 allows declarer to draw the last trump and make 11 tricks. If South tries switching to a trump at trick two, declarer can follow a similar line. Even a switch to clubs at trick two will only hold the contract to 10 tricks. All this is not to suggest you should bid like a maniac since there is a loser in each minor, possibly a second in diamonds, and declarer cannot take the trump finesse and ruff two hearts. Although the EW hands fit well, this is still a fortunate contract.
Is there anything NS can do? The lead of a small diamond threatens a third round ruff and declarer has no good answer. Drawing trumps leads to three heart losers and trying to ruff a heart, gives the diamond ruff and the KC.