Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

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.

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