REMARKABLE PLAY Neither vulnerable. North deals. Opening lead: Nine of Diamonds
East captured dummy’s king of diamonds with the ace at trick one, and with nothing better to do, returned the jack of diamonds. West ruffed and led a heart through the board’s king for down one. This ambitious contract probably got what it deserved, but can you see a way for declarer to improve his chances? The defence can always prevail, but South can make it very difficult for them by ducking the opening diamond lead in dummy and allowing the jack to win the first trick! Declarer side five-card diamond suit is unknown to the defenders, and it will be a very well-kept secret indeed if South ducks the opening lead. What declarer would make that play holding 10 diamonds? Should East continue with the ace of diamonds, can West really believe that partner is now out of diamonds? West would have to ruff his partner’s ace to defeat the contract. East could also refuse to win the first trick with the jack, and rather win with ace and return the jacks for West to ruff. Honestly, would you find that play? The diamond lead does look like a singleton, but that would be a majestic play. This brilliant play, on a somewhat different lie of the other suits, was found recently by a young Dutch player, Bob Donkersloot. We’ll be on the lookout for this young man in the future!