Stepping stone by Ton Schipperheyn, Netherlands

Leo van den Brom, close friend of Andre Mulder and nowadays his regular partner, played a hand that certainly deserves a nomination for the best played hand of the tournament.

Game All. Dealer East.

                  S T8743
                  H J872
                  D 9
                  C QT9    
      S AK52                 S J9
      H 54                   H AK6
      D K852                 D AT74
      C 754                  C AJ32
                  S Q6
                  H QT93
                  D QJ63
                  C K86

   Pass     Pass      1NT     Pass
   2C       Pass      2D      Pass
   3NT      All Pass

In 3NT he received the lead of the D3 - 2 - 9 - .... the ACE. That seems a bit illogical, but he  urgently needed two entries to dummy. He played back the D4, South small (what else, partner has the  10, doesn t he?) and the 8 gave him the extra entry. Then came a small spade, and when North played small, Leo put in the S9, South winning the queen. South was allowed to make the DQ, and the jack was taken with the king. Then came a small club to the jack and king and a spade back to the jack, leaving:
                  S T8
                  H J8
                  D -
                  C QT     
      S AK                   S -
      H 54                   H AK6
      D -                    D -
      C 75                   C A32
                  S --
                  H QT93
                  D -
                  C 86
Now Leo played HAK, CA and a club to North s queen, a kind of stepping stone to dummy s spades. Just made.