Good players find extra time for discovery at the green baize. Often, it makes little difference — which is why lazy players dispense with additional effort — but, when it is rewarded, it is most gratifying.

Dealer: South  
Love All Game


North’s 2NT showed a raise to at least 3S, with 9pts or more. South jumped to 4S and West led A♥. 

From the bidding, declarer knows that West holds all, or almost all, the outstanding points, so it looks as if he will lose two or three hearts, and that will be it. Since West is likely to be 4-4-4-1, or close to it, the diamond finesse is very likely to be right, both on point count and distribution.  

East encourages the lead, West continues with K♥ and 7♥, and East ruffs, before getting off lead with 9♣. 

A lazy declarer draws trumps and takes the diamond finesse, claiming very bad luck with it loses. However, declarer can add chances by drawing trumps, cashing Q♥ — pitching 10♦ from dummy — and then playing out her final two trumps — the one that hurts you will probably hurt the defenders too! On the final trump, West will be left with K♣ and three diamonds. When she pitches a diamond, declarer discards Q♣ from dummy and realises diamonds must be 2-2 so, now, instead of taking the doomed finesse, she can cash ♦AK; Q♦ duly drops from the East hand. This “show-up squeeze” has brought home the contract.

Read Paul’s previous Bridge columns at

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