8th August 2018

 S  A95
Dealer  S
 H  63
EW Vul
 D  AK742

 C  J106

S   Q103

H   AQ1092

D   Q965

C   4

  N_S Vul. IMPs Dealer North

1C Pass
1D 1H
1NT Pass 3NT Pass

This deal is a defensive problem from the teams at the Yorkshire Congress in June.
Partner leads the four of spades (fourth highest) against three notrump, declarer plays low from dummy and your queen wins the trick, declarer playing the six.  What do you play now?


It looks as though partner has done well to lead spades rather than hearts, but which spade should you return?  It is normal to return your highest remaining card from a three card holding, but here that would give declarer a second spade trick if he started with Jx(x).  Henry Bissell returned the spade three, declarer didn't block the spades by taking the ace at trick two, but held up routinely, then when he took the club finesse the defence had six tricks.

The full deal

 Dealer  S
S A95
 EW Vul  H 63
    D AK742
    C J106
S K8742
    S Q103
H 85
    H AQ1092
D 103
    D Q965
C Q975
    C 4
    S J6
    H KJ74
    D J8
    C AK832

Thanks to Nicholas Greer for reporting this deal.