At matchpoint duplicate, declarer may choose a line of play that would be wrong at IMPs or party bridge. Today’s South plays at 3NT.
West leads the jack of hearts. South has four spades and two hearts and can get three more tricks by losing a diamond to the ace. At IMPs he would lead a diamond at Trick Two.
At matchpoints South must pursue an overtrick. If clubs break 3-2 — a 68 percent chance — South can force out the ace for four club tricks and 10 in all. But if, as the cards lie, he wins the first heart in dummy and leads a club, East beats 3NT by rising with the ace to return a heart.
Same contract: The key question is whether the contract is “normal.” If every pair will be at the same spot, making the contract is irrelevant. What matters is whether you take more tricks than the other declarers.
Here, every North-South will be at 3NT, so South should try for the overtrick. If East ducks the first club, an error many Easts would make, South can shift to diamonds.
Daily Question: You hold: AJ93 h A6 ( Q1043 $ K Q J. The dealer, at your right, opens two hearts (a weak twobid). You double, and your partner responds two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: Your double suggested a hand worth at least 16 points with support for any of the unbid suits. Your partner was obliged to respond, and his bid of two spades promises no values. Pass. With a hand as strong as K 8765,75,65, A 104 3, he would have jumped to three spades.