WHERE’S TOMMY? Neither vulnerable. South deals. Opening lead: Ace of Clubs
North’s leap to slam was, perhaps, too bold. All would be well if South could bring it home. West continued with the king of clubs at trick two. This excellent play prevented any possible trump finesse against his partner. South ruffed in dummy and cashed the ace of spades, getting the bad news there. He tried reducing his trump length to the same as East’s by cashing the ace of hearts and ruffing a heart. He crossed with a diamond to the jack and ruffed a second heart, followed by a diamond to the queen for another heart ruff. Declarer led his king of diamonds, overtaking with the ace. Had East followed, he would have been the victim of a classic trump coup – the lead in dummy with only trumps left and South sitting over him to capture his trumps. Alas, East ruffed the third diamond and the slam was defeated. North, the perfect gentleman, said: “Nice try, partner,”, but he knew South had erred. Can you spot the mistake? South should have cashed the ace of hearts and ruffed a heart before playing the ace of trumps. The timing would have been right to ruff two more hearts, establishing dummy’s six of hearts. Now, a second diamond to dummy would be followed by leading the good heart. Should East ruff, South would over-ruff, draw trumps and cash the last diamond. If, instead, East discards, South sheds his last diamond and a magical three-card ending is reached.