The contract in this hand is quite normal but the opponents, a pro-client pair had a hiccup in their bidding. The 2S bid had been a transfer to clubs and 2NT suggested being good for clubs. The wheels fell of with 3D which was meant to be a shortage and 3H seemed to be a cue bid. However, they got the brakes on and stopped safely in 3NT. The pro warned us about the 3D bid being a mistake and West got off to the lead of the KS. East played a discouraging 2S, denying the ace or jack, and South ducked. West now switched to the 2H to partner’s 10H and declarer’s KH. Declarer really has only one place to go for tricks and, after much thought, he took the club finesse. East won the king and returned the 10S to trap declarer’s jack but declarer rose with the ace and, when the clubs were 2-2, he gathered in ten tricks for a small 2 imp gain. So much has gone wrong here, it’s difficult to know where to start but perhaps you should consider it before reading on.
IMPs, Both vul, Dealer East
When West correctly switched at trick two, it was to the best suit for the defence. After winning the king of clubs, East should realise he knows where the heart honours are since partner led the 2H promising a face card. On this basis, he should lead a heart to partner’s ace and they should just cash the hearts to defeat the contract. This was a bad mistake by East. Declarer could easily have avoided this possibility. Although the Bath Coup in spades is attractive to declarer, defensive signalling makes it easy to avoid as was the case here. Also, declarer can see there is grave danger in hearts so he should win the ace of spades at trick one to avoid the heart switch. Now he should play ace and another club since he doesn’t care if West has the king and might drop a singleton king with East. Anyway he has now developed four, or more, club tricks and the J8x of spades allows declarer to stop the defence running too many spades no matter which defender leads them.