Writers’ Weekly 50 | A boring partscore

Did you ever drop focus when a boring partscore board shows up? I hope you keep you guard up as declarer at any contract you may be declaring.

This hand came up during a duplicate game in London.

The bidding was typically matchpoints fighting all the way up to the 3-level. Westgot off to a good start when he led the king of spades. Another spade was wonby the ace, east gave west a ruff with the eight of spades.

West read the eight as a lavinthal and continued with a diamond, east took his ace.

East gave it a thought before continuing a diamond to queen, king and ruff.

The prospects didn’t look too good for declarer before he did the counting. West had opened 1diamond then rebid 3club, his hand had to be 2-2-5-4 or 2-1-5-5. If the hearts could be handled without a looser the play would lead to nine tricks by ruffing a diamond and do the finesse in clubs.

Sadly, there was not enough communication to handle both the diamond ruff and the finesse in clubs.

Declarer found a way to take advantage knowing the distribution. Ace of hearts then aheart to the king was followed by a club to the queen and a heart to the jack.

The position had come down to this

Declarer knew the rest of the cards, west had to be in trouble when south cashed the six of hearts.

Indeed, west was in trouble, he was squeezed in the minors. If he discarded a club the dummy would be high, if he discarded a diamond declarer would win the ninth in that suit.

A classic squeeze and not much of an effort to an advanced declarer.

The experienced reader would point out the lost chance in the defense. East could (should) have played a spade when winning the ace of diamonds. West can ruff with the queen promoting the 10 9 7 in easts hand as a winner. That would have been the fifth defensivetrick claiming the contract 1 down.