The winning play is tough to find
Alexis de Tocqueville, a French diplomat and historian, said, “In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.”
At the end of this deal, South had an uncomfortable feeling that he could have made six diamonds. Can you see what he needed to do after West led a low trump?
Most Souths at Bridge Base Online opened one no-trump. Then half the Norths surprisingly raised to three notrump. The others showed some sort of minor-suit hand and ended in a variety of final contracts, including seven diamonds.
One North-south pair was using the weak no-trump, so South opened one diamond. Everyone these days overcalls with that tepid West hand. North might have cue-bid two spades to show a good diamond raise, but so liked her hand that she started with two clubs. Four hearts was a control-bid, and four notrump Roman Key Card Blackwood.
Declarer covered the trump lead with dummy’s eight and captured East’s queen with his ace. South cashed two hearts to discard dummy’s spade, then led the heart jack, on which West discarded a club. Declarer led the spade king and ruffed West’s ace. Then came the club ace and another club, but East won with his king and led the club jack, ruffed by South and overruffed by West.
South immediately rued not having the diamond seven instead of the six. But he had blown the contract at trick one! He had to win with dummy’s diamond king, so that he could have ruffed the third club with the diamond ace — difficult to anticipate.