ONLY THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED . . .
Some people don't like to take credit for their good plays - so in deference to their wishes we will not give East-
West the billing they deserve.
Dlr: West H JT7
Vul: N-S D AQT97
S 732 S AQ5
H Q965 H K82
D J854 D K32
C 73 C AQT2
East showed his balanced 18-19 count, but 1NT was a precarious spot on a diamond lead. Declarer won the king and found the ingenious play of the HK. You can hardly blame South for ducking this trick, which would have been the right play had declarer held KJx or KTx.
As it was, though, East led a heart to the queen and played a third heart. South took the ace and exited with a spade
to the king and ace. Three rounds of spades put North back on lead to cash two diamonds and get out with a club.
Again it was easy for East to cover this with the 10. South won and took the 13th spade, but then had to play a club
away from his king. That gave declarer his seventh trick for plus 90 and 22 matchpoints out of 25.
The next deal presents the opportunity for squeeze devotees to practice their technique.
Dlr: South H J
Vul: None D AKQ654
S KJ63 S 9854
H K87 H T943
D 97 D T83
C Q642 C T9
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
- - - 1H
Pass 2D Pass 2H
Pass 3D Pass 3NT
Pass 6NT All Pass
You get the D9 lead, suggesting that West has a doubleton diamond and also most of the high cards. You decide to win the jack and a second diamond, cutting yourself off from hand a bit, but extracting West's exit card. Now you run the HJ and West wins. At this point West had to return a heart to avoid immediate defeat. You cash the top hearts, throwing one spade and one club. Then you cross to the CK to run the diamonds. That leaves this ending:
S KJ S 98
H -- H T
D -- D --
C Q6 C T
On the last diamond you discard a heart and West must concede, since you will set up whichever suit he discards from.
Of course West should try to make life more difficult by discarding deceptively. His best move is to come down to S
KJ7 and the bare CQ early, then pitch the SJ at the end. That way he has a chance to persuade you to go wrong -- but
declarer may well see enough clubs appearing to guess right.