A Curious Club Suit


Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 06/16/2010
Level: Advanced

My friend David Berkowitz played this deal at Jourdans Bridge Club in Boca Raton, Florida:

 

Vul: N-S
Dlr: West
?4 3
?K Q 9 4
?10 6 4 2
?A 10 2
 
?8 7
?A 3 2
?Q J 9 8 7 5
?6 5
  ?K J 10 9 6 5
?8 5
?3
?Q 9 8 7
  ?A Q 2
?J 10 7 6
?A K
?K J 4 3
 

West opened 2?, East responded 2? (not forcing) and David as South ended up in 3NT.

West led a spade, won by declarer.

He knocked out the heart ace and that meant he had the following sure winners:

2 spades, 3 hearts, 2 diamonds, 2 clubs.   That's 9 tricks, so it was just a matter of overtricks.

What do you think of the club suit?

Assuming declarer plays East for the queen, he can take 3 tricks (lead the ace, then finesse). Can he get 4 club tricks and make many overtricks?

It looks impossible.  When declarer wins the ?A and leads the 10, East will cover, of course. If declarer doesn't lead dummy's ?10, East still gets a club trick.

But, look what happened. When West won his ?A, he continued spades. Declarer won and cashed the red suits to leave:

Vul: N-S
Dlr: West
?--
?--
?10 6
?A 10 2
 
?--
?--
?Q J 9
?6 5
  ?K
?--
?--
?Q 9 8 7
  ?2
?--
?--
?K J 4 3
 
What a curious ending. East had to keep all four clubs (else the suit would run). So, David threw East in with the spade. East had to lead a club and voila! -- 4 club tricks for declarer.

Plus 660 was a top board.

Note -- West could have broken up this ending by playing a club when he was in.