Bridge column, October 30: Try to divert declarer's destiny
Yesterday, when we first looked at this deal, we found that declarer seems destined to make three no-trump. He wins the heart lead in his hand, plays off dummy's top clubs to find out about the 4-1 break, then takes two diamond finesses, one now at trick four and one when back in the dummy with the heart ace. He gets home with one spade, two hearts, four diamonds and two clubs. But do you see any way that East might divert declarer from his apparent destiny?
North's two-club rebid showed at least six clubs and denied a four-card major. (With no major and only five clubs, North would have rebid one no-trump or two diamonds.) It was normal for South to rebid three no-trump. It was unlikely that five clubs would make and three no-trump fail.
The key play comes at trick two. When declarer plays a club to dummy's king, it cannot cost for East to drop his jack (or queen). Even if South continues with the club ace, East can play his six and retain the Q-9 (or J-9) over dummy's 10-8.
The plus comes, though, if South reads East's card as a singleton. Then he will return to his hand with a diamond to the ace, planning to continue with a club, covering West's card as cheaply as possible. He will believe he is going to take one spade, two hearts, one diamond and five clubs. But West's spade discard will leave East-West joyful and South sorrowful.
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