When a competent a player declarer has bid, can often work out where all the missing honours are and play the hand as though he can see through the back of the cards. Take today’s hand. After West had opened one heart and North overcalled two diamonds, South then made the practical bid of three no-trump.
How should South play to make his contract after West leads the jack of hearts and dummy’s queen wins the first trick?
Declarer and dummy have a combined twenty six points, which marks West with nearly all the missing points.
If declarer next leads the club queen from dummy, West will win and can then clear the heart suit, leaving declarer a trick short.
So, declarer has a neat plan to secure his contract.
He next plays a spade to his ten and leads a diamond – catching West in a dilemma.
If he plays low, declarer will play dummy’s king then resort to clubs, coming to nine tricks.
If West rises with the ace of diamonds and continues hearts, South will win the ace of hearts and then can play a diamond to dummy’s ten and losing to East’s jack.
East returns a club, but South will rise with the ace, coming to ten tricks with three spade winners, two hearts, four diamond tricks and the ace of clubs.
By playing a diamond at trick three, declarer caught West in a Morton’s Fork.