Declarer won the jack, played a top trump, led a diamond to dummy and advanced the jack of spades. East discarded a club as West won the queen to exit with another trump. Declarer won in hand to play the ten of hearts for the four, king & ace. East cashed the queen and followed with the heart five which was ruffed and overruffed. The diamond return squeezed East since he had to surrender the club guard to retain the master heart but the game was down one, N-S -50
South will bring home the game with more careful play. Since he must play on hearts eventually, let him lead one for the king and ace at trick two. East may continue with the queen and five-spot but declarer ruffs high. A club to the table is followed by another heart ruff (high) and he sets about drawing trump to lose 2 hearts and the queen of spades.
3NT is a different kettle of fish when West begins with a diamond. Suppose South wins in hand to run the ten of hearts. East scores a middle honor to fire back a diamond for dummy’s king. A spade finesse loses as West drives out the ace of diamonds jeopardizing the contract. South may be unwilling to play on hearts lest West produce the ace and cash two diamonds to defeat the contract. The odds favor finessing East for the club queen. Visit www.insidebridge.ca. For local games and links to individual clubs, visit www.unit192.ca.