Bidding weaponry that seems to have infected European tournaments more than North American events was on view here. West’s opening bid showed a weak hand with five spades and five cards in ether minor.
No real harm done to impede North-South as they reached a sensible notrump game after South decided to express the overall value of his hand, without being unduly concerned about the lack of a real diamond stopper. And he did have a potentially useful source of tricks in clubs.
Diamond stopper? Who needs one as the fourth-best lead went to the nine and queen.
Given the roadmap provided by the opening bid, South embarked on a very pretty line of play that gave him solid chances with just a dollop of deception added in.
First, a heart to the ace (no point taking a finesse that rates to lose!) for a club to the queen. Judging that the king wasn’t due to come down in one more round, South cashed his top spades and exited his hand by playing a low diamond toward dummy.
Now maybe West might have ducked but from his perspective, it appeared that South, having started with QJx of diamonds for his notrump bid, was trying to steal an entry to dummy.
Having none of that, the defender won his king and cashed the ace to discover he’d been had!
Yes, he could take two more diamond tricks, but then had to give South an entry to dummy by playing a spade or, just as bad, return a club for declarer to mop up the rest of that suit.
Nice bids, those two-suited weakies!