18th April 2018

A deal from the Green Point Pairs in March.
Dealer South Love All.

S KQ108
D 2
C J82

S A52
H 109
C Q543

Unlike teams or rubber bridge, making overtricks at match-pointed pairs is very important.

South landed in three notrump on the lead of the diamond three.  East played the diamond ten and South ran the heart ten to East's king.  East returned the diamond four, confirming that the diamonds were four-four.  South won in hand and threw a club from dummy.  South now cashed the hearts, East threw the seven and nine of clubs followed by the diamond eight.  South threw two clubs and the diamond six, West discarded the four of spades.  Declarer now cashed the spade king and ace, West discarded the club six.  When the diamond king was played both opponents followed.  Declarer now knew that West was originally 2443 and East 4243 and that West now has the queen of diamonds and two clubs, while East has jack and nine of spades and a club.

We seem to be in the right contract as four hearts can only make ten tricks and we have received a favourable lead.  If West has the ace and king of clubs and we play a club then we will only make nine tricks for a poor score, whereas if East has the ace of clubs alone, then a club exit will endplay her to lead a spade into the queen, ten for a very good score.  If East has the singleton king of clubs then West will have to rise with the club ace to avoid this endplay and we will end up with ten tricks.  So South played a club, East was down to the singleton club ace, making eleven tricks was a complete top.

Thanks to Raymond Semp for reporting and playing this deal