Contract bridge: Disappearing loser leads to top result for optimistic declarer
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An extra trick is always satisfying and, at duplicate bridge, lucrative. Here, declarer made a simple, expert play — and a great result was his.
West led 10♦, identified by all as a singleton, and declarer won in hand and led a trump. Strangely, West ducked this (if he wants a ruff, surely to win and try a black suit is better), and a second round of trumps saw West win A♥. He switched to 5♣, which does not help declarer since J♣ could always have been ruffed in dummy. However, declarer’s certain diamond loser is now about to disappear . . .
South led 8♠ to dummy’s K♠, losing to A♠. East led Q♦, trying to set up a third trick for his side. Declarer won this but, rather than conceding the diamond trick, he used a key technique: he played out all his trumps, looking most sagacious. In fact, he cashed his two top clubs first, and then played all his trumps. With one trump to play, declarer held 10♠, K♥ and 8♦; dummy held ♠Q9 and J♦. When K♥ is led, declarer can throw 9♦ from dummy. East is helpless: if he throws Q♦, declarer’s 8♦ is a winner; if he throws 9♠, both dummy’s spades are winners.
A perfect, simple squeeze, executed without declarer knowing that it would work, but hoping that it might — the route to much expert card play . . .