A tough combination to handle
Denis Diderot, an 18th-century French philosopher, art critic and writer, said, “There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge ... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.”
Today, declarer is faced with a tough suit combination to play correctly. How should he try to make three no-trump after West leads the heart queen?
South’s two-heart rebid was the artificial fourth-suit gameforcing. When North described his 5-5 hand, South took a shot at three no-trump, thinking that it would have more chance than five clubs. North was happy he had the heart king to bolster his partner’s holding in the suit. (South probably didn’t have very strong hearts, because then he might have jumped straight to three no-trump over two clubs.)
Declarer has seven top tricks: three spades, two hearts and two clubs. If spades are 3-3, that will be good enough. However, that should be left on the back burner while South tries to win four club tricks — but how?
Right, they could be 3-2, but there is one other possibility: East might hold a singleton honor. Declarer has to be careful, though. When he cashes the club ace and East plays the queen, South must unblock his eight or nine.
Then he leads a low club from the board. West takes that trick with his 10, but now dummy has the king-seven over West’s queen-six, and the contract is home.