National Post (National Edition)
Regardless of the form of scoring or type of competition, what would you deem to be the most important trick in any one deal?
During an experts' match on Bridge Base Online, Toronto expatriate Shan Huang counted on his hand's excellent playing strength to push to this doubtful heart game – maybe “extra doubtful” mainly because West's takeout double suggested bad splits in the major suits.
Declarer ruffed the opening diamond lead to play a club to the King and a second round back to the Jack – do you suppose just maybe West thought that looked like a finesse?
In any case, West ruffed and punched out one more trump from Huang with a second round of diamonds.
After ruffing, South lashed back with ace and another heart but the feared 4-1 heart split seemed to spell sure defeat for declarer.
So much so that after winning the heart Queen, West cashed the King and played yet again one more diamond to force dummy to ruff. West's plan: get in with the ace of spades to take at least one more trick with a good diamond.
But some bad news for the defenders: on the last diamond ruff in dummy and the Jack of hearts that followed, South was able to discard both of his losing spades so that he could claim the balance and his game bonus with the rest of the club suit.
The “most important trick”? The setting trick, of course, the trick West had neglected to take before letting his greed get the best of him by playing that third round of diamonds after relinquishing trump control!