In first position, the student opened with 1 and received the inevitable
the professor. In view of the misfit, 2 or 3 would be overstating things a
little, so the student simply rebid 2. The professor raised with an
invitational 3 and
the student tried the picture bid of 3. Professor IMP now bid
3 - 4th suit
forcing - which was doubled by East. The student passed, awaiting further
developments. After 3, he was at the cross-roads. It could be 3NT if partner held
the A, or
even 6. Uncertain
if 4 was still
forcing, the student closed the auction with a jump to 5, against which West somewhat
surprisingly led the A.
So, what to do? The student found a different line. At trick three he crossed to dummy's A and led the K. Honoring Zia's Bols Tip ('When they have it, they cover'), East covered with the ace and South ruffed. To get a better idea of the distribution, the student did well to cash the 10 next. West was allowed to ruff, but the contract would be safe. West either had to give dummy a spade trick for a diamond discard, and declarer would ruff a diamonmd after drawing the last trump. Alternatively, if West were to exit with the last trump, South would ruff a diamond and cash a spade trick next. However, West did not ruff, but discarded a spade instead. So, it very much looked as if East had started with five hearts, three clubs, probably three spades and therefore two diamonds.
The student cashed a high trump on which West pitched a diamond and on the
next high club, West discarded another spade. At this point it looks as if a
small diamond to the jack would do the job. That would work if West possesses
the Q or
if the 10
will drop doubleton or third. In fact, that's how the student continued.
Professor IMP found an slightly better line:
'First cash a high diamond, in case East has the Q bare. If East follows low, play a small diamond! In with the queen, West is endplayed. He has to give dummy a spade trick or lead into South's diamond tenace.'
'Still, I like your play, young man,' Professor IMP added, 'You see, disciplined habits lead to good results.'