ANOTHER TOUGH PLAY TO VISUALIZE
In yesterday’s deal, declarer had to make the unusual lead of the king from king-third to try to force left-hand opponent on lead. This deal also features an infrequent piece of declarer-play.
South barrels into six hearts. What should he do after West leads the diamond 10?
As soon as North opened one club, South was thinking about a slam. When East made a weak jump overcall, though, and North rebid two no-trump, South’s enthusiasm was tempered slightly. However, he forced to game with a three-diamond cuebid, learned that his partner had some heart support, and leapt to six hearts. (Note that six notrump fails unless East unwisely leads a diamond.)
South could see 11 winners: three spades, seven hearts and one club. His first thought was that the club finesse had to work. But there was something better, assuming West had the diamond nine to back up his 10-lead.
Declarer covered West’s 10 with dummy’s diamond jack and ruffed away East’s queen. He drew trumps ending on the board and played the diamond king. When East covered with his ace, South ruffed, took his three spade tricks ending in the dummy, and led the diamond eight. However, instead of ruffing, he discarded his low club. Yes, West took the trick with his nine, but what could he do next?
If he had exited with a spade or diamond, declarer would have ruffed on the board and sluffed the club queen from his hand. But when West led a club, it was into South’s ace-queen.
It was a pretty loser-on-loser endplay.