Those extra chances

Its always a pleasure to watch Dave Berkowitz play the dummy. Smooth as  silk is one phrase that comes to mind -- and it was certainly appropriate on this deal. Dave was playing with his wife, Lisa.

N/S Vul. Dealer West.

                S Q4
                H JT5
                D 87654
                C KQ7  
        S J76           S AKT8532
        H K6            H 8743
        D A932          D
        C AJ53          C 84
                S 9
                H AQ92
                D KQJT
                C T962

  Lisa                Dave
  1D (1)    Pass      1S      Pass   
  1NT       Pass      4S      All Pass

(1) Precision: could be short.
The 1NT rebid showed 13-15.

South led the DK. Berkowitz played low from dummy, ruffing in hand. At trick two, he led a  low heart. South went up with the ace and returned the S9. Berkowitz played low from dummy  and won the S10 when North played low. Next came a club to dummys ace, the DA for a club  pitch, followed by a club ruff. The CQ came up on the second round of the suit, so Berkowitz  played a heart to dummys king, followed by another low club off dummy. When the CK  appeared, Berkowitz ruffed with the SK and claimed for plus 480.
To Berkowitz, the play was routine -- giving himself the extra chance of finding CKQ x in one  hand. Had he tried to ruff  two hearts in dummy, Berkowitz would have been overruffed and would have made only 11 tricks. He was shocked to find that plus 480 was worth 81 out of 89  matchpoints.


The right card

You are South  and  you pick up:

S  J 8
H  10 8
D  Q 10 7
C  J 10 8 7 2
This is the auction:

  WEST      NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
            1S        Dbl       Pass   
  2H        Pass      4H        All Pass

Partner leads the SK and you see this dummy:

S 6 3
H A K Q 4
D A 8
C A Q 9 6 3

Partner cashes the ace and switches to the D7. Declarer considers his play for some time, but  finally rises with the ace. Next he plays the CA and ruffs a club, partner following with the C5  and CK.
Declarer takes even longer to play his next card, but finally he tables the S10, partner  following low, and discards dummys diamond as you ruff.  It seems evident that West has  overbid and your chances of defeating the contract are good. Keeping in mind that you are playing matchpoints, can you do better than down one?


A club return is correct, but it  must  be the CJ or C10. If you return your low club, declarer  will simply pitch and partner will be forced to ruff. If you return either of your club honors, partner will have the option of  ruffing or discarding. On this occasion, he will (or should)  discard. Declarer will win the CQ, but if he pulls trumps he will lose the last two club tricks, and if he tries to ruff another club, partner can overruff and assure down two.
The complete  deal:

Love All. Dealer North.

                S J8
                H T8
                D KJ94
                C JT872
        S 63            S QT75
        H AKQ4          H 9632
        D A8            D 6532
        C AQ963         C 4
                S AK942
                H J75
                D QT7
                C K5
If you returned the C8, you get 41 out of 89 matchpoints. If you play a club honor and partnercooperates by declining to ruff, your reward is 71.5 matchpoints.