17th July 2019

 S  1083
Dealer  E
 H  4
E-W Vul
 D  872

 C  AJ10542

S   AQ6

H   J1094

D   K10954

C    6


1S Pass Pass
2D(1) 2S 3H
3S Pass

(1) Transfer to hearts

This deal is a defensive problem from the Corwen Trophy.

After the auction above South ends up in three spades.  Partner leads the six of hearts to your nine and declarer's ace.
Declarer, rather surprisingly, plays the four of spades to the two, ten and queen at trick two.
What do you play now?


Declarer's hearts must include the ace and king (with ace queen he would have won with the queen, with ace alone partner would have led the king).  He also appears to have the king and jack of spades and something good and length in clubs, or else he would have crossed to the ace of clubs to play a spade.  It seems that partner is likely to have the diamond ace.  So play back your singleton club, then rise with the ace of spades on the next trump lead and put partner in with a diamond to give you a club ruff.  Your king of diamonds also cashes to take the contract one off.

Declarer has had a blind spot, see the full deal below.  Jeff Smith of Lancashire played four spades on a heart lead, he ruffed his winning heart in dummy at trick two and played the spade ten to make the contract.
The full deal

 Dealer  E
S 1083
 E-W Vul  H 4
    D 872
    C AJ10542
S 52
    S AQ6
H Q87652
    H J1093
    D K10954
C 98
    C 6
    S KJ974
    H AK
    D Q6
    C KQ73