It was early in the club's Saturday night duplicate when Hard Luck Louie found himself declarer on today's deal. Louie had only nine tricks in his hand, but it was reasonable to bid game and hope that partner could provide one more. The queen of diamonds was possible, for example.
West cashed two high hearts and continued with a third round of the suit when East high-lowed. Louie ruffed with dummy's nine of spades, but East was able to over-ruff and shift to the queen of diamonds. Louie had an unavoidable diamond loser and finished down one.
”6-2 hearts and East with the
10 of spades to boot,” said Louie. ”Everything happens to me.”
Lucky Larry played the same contract after the same auction, and the defense was exactly the same. Instead of ruffing the third heart in dummy, however, Larry simply discarded a low diamond from dummy. East discarded a high club, so West shifted to a club at trick four. Larry ruffed, drew the outstanding trumps in two rounds, and ruffed his diamond loser in dummy. Making four!
Note that even if the trumps had split 3-0, Larry would still make his contract as long as the defender with three trumps followed to three rounds of diamonds. Nicely played!