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Dealer West Love All

You are West, playing in 6NT, and North leads ♠ 4; you play low from dummy, and South plays 8. Plan from there.

This is for those readers who play a lot of duplicate, and want to improve their awareness of opportunit­ies to get easy ‘tops’. You can see that you have 12 top tricks in No Trumps, so your contract is not in danger.

You assume that most other pairs will be in a slam, though one or two may not be, and some might be in 6 ♣ , so you will be certain of an aboveavera­ge score. But why not go for the ‘top’ — or maybe shared ‘top’, if other declarers are as thoughtful — by making an overtrick? That won’t just happen by magic; North’s lead indicates he has a four-carder and, if he also has four diamonds, you will be able to catch him in a Vienna Coup. Play off ♠ AKQ, ♥ A and ♦ A before running your club suit. You are now reduced to ♠ -, ♥ xx, ♦ x, ♣ x, and dummy ♠ 9, ♥♦ -, KQx, ♣ -.

When you play the last club, North will be unable to keep his ♠ J as well as three diamonds. This planning entails no risk to your contract, but will often reap you rich rewards.

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