Bridge column, November 8: The deceptive play to recognize
It is obvious to me that the right line of play in this deal is deceptively difficult to see. South is in four spades. West leads the heart queen. What should declarer do? To reduce the options, I will let you know that the trumps are breaking 3-1.
North's rebid showed a balanced hand with 18, 19 or a poor 20 points. South bid what he hoped he could make.
Declarer starts by counting losers. He sees none, one or two in spades; one in hearts; one in diamonds; and none or one in clubs. The club play will be governed by the spade break.
South takes the first trick with dummy's ace (otherwise, West can shift to diamonds) and draws two rounds of trumps to get that news. Now comes the tough part. Declarer must get his diamond loser away on a long club. But he must establish the club suit without giving West a chance to ruff in.
Here, if declarer cashes his club king and plays a club to dummy's jack, he should fail. East wins, cashes his heart king and switches to a diamond. Then West ruffs the club ace, and the defenders cash a diamond for down one.
The right play is the club ace, club king and a third club. Then, when in dummy with the diamond ace, South can throw his diamond loser on the club jack.
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