Good, but not good enough
Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 05/01/2017
This Real Deal is slightly modified from one reported in IBPA (International Bridge Press Association Bulletin).
South opens 2NT with:
North transfers to hearts and then bids 3NT. On the way to 4, South should make a careful bid of 4 (showing a great hand in context for hearts and clubs controlled). Most days, North will just sign off in 4. Here, North control-bids 4 and South carries on to 6. The J is led:
Looking at the losers from the long-trump hand (North), declarer can see a potential club and spade loser. The best chance is to work on clubs to throw a spade from dummy (much better than relying on the spade suit to throw a club).
Declarer won the diamond lead with the king and drew trump (West starting with four). How should he tackle clubs?
Much better than relying on a 3-3 break is to finesse twice (against the QJ). The 10 rode around to West's Q and back came a low spade. Declarer captured East's king with the ace and went to dummy in diamonds to leave:
Dummy's 9 was led and declarer got good news and bad news. The finesse was on, but East covered the nine with the jack and the suit was blocked. Here is the full deal:
Declarer needed to foresee the club blockage. Believe it or not, he has to preserve entries to the 21 HCP hand! He should win the first trick in dummy (with, say the A) and pass the 10 to West. Now, it is smooth sailing. Declarer wins the spade return with the ace and draws trump ending in dummy. He leads the 9 and East can't ruin the day. If he covers, declarer can win, cross to the 8 and come to the preserved K for the good club (throwing dummy's spade).
After winning the first trick in hand with the K, there is no legitimate way to make the contract.