WHAT follows is an impressive (and possibly, instructive) example of expert declarer play from a recent tournament.
South declared a contract of six clubs reached despite a weak jump overcall in hearts made by West.
The opening lead was the king of hearts and these were the North-South cards:
' A 5 4
'* A 9 7 4
'¶ 3 2
'£ J 9 8 7
' J 9 7 2
'¶ A K Q 4
'£ A K Q 10 2
Although declarer was fairly certain that a good score would be achieved by bidding and then making the slam, he set out to score an overtrick if that was possible. It was. East held:
' K Q 10 8
'* J 6 5
'¶ 10 7 6 5
'£ 6 3
Declarer ruffed the opening lead with the ace of clubs, led the deuce of clubs to dummy's 7, and trumped another heart with the king of clubs. Then he played the 10 of clubs to dummy's jack, extracting all opposition trumps, and ruffed the 9 of hearts in hand with his own last trump.
Next a spade was played to the ace and dummy's 9 and 8 of clubs were cashed. As declarer discarded spades. Finally, the ace of hearts was led from dummy at trick nine. East was obliged to discard in front of South (from his holding of the high spade plus four diamonds) so was effectively squeezed.
Whatever course he followed, declarer could do the opposite. The result then, surprising as it may have seemed on an initial review of the North-South holding, was that declarer took all 13 tricks, for a top score.