Kirby and Amstrong by Barry Rigal
Graham Kirby and John Armstrong have long had the reputation as being the best defenders in Great Britain.
They earned their reputation with hands like the following:
E/W Vul. Dealer North.
S AKQT974 S J
H Q H K9854
D K32 D A54
C Q5 C A964
6S is not a great contract, but Jens Auken, in time trouble, reached that contract. Of course, on any lead but a trump,
there are three entries to dummy to establish the hearts. But Kirby led a trump, removing one entry. Now Jens led a
heart, ducked by Armstrong, to the Queen and ran three trumps, reducing to this ending with South still to find a discard:
S 974 S --
H -- H K9
D K32 D A5
C Q5 C A964
When Armstrong pitched a club, Jens opted for simplicity and ducked a club, hoping the suit would ruff out. Down
There are two very complex points to the hand. First of all: has the position achieved some sort of squeeze on South? I think so; after four rounds of trumps, South must keep four clubs and the guarded HA, so, he must come down to a doubleton diamond. Now, declarer runs all the trumps and endplays North in diamonds to lead clubs.
The position at trick 2 is interesting if Armstrong rises with the HA. He does best to return the CJ but Jens can cover this with the Queen, King and Ace, play the HK and ruff a heart reducing to this ending:
S 7 S --
H -- H 9
D K3 D A54
C 5 C --
North's puny C2 cannot guard the suit against West. The last trump thus exerts a classic double squeeze.