A difficult discard by Toine van Hoof, The
The largest score in the 1995 Europeans Bridge Championships was when The Netherlands beat San Marino by 84 imps. The following hand added eleven imps to the Dutch blitz.
N/S Vul. Dealer West.
S AQ852 S 63
H AQ H T743
D T62 D AJ
C Q85 C AK942
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
1S Pass 2C 2D !
3C Pass 3NT Pass
On the lead of a diamond, declarer has an easy run fornine tricks. South, however, elected the H2. Now the contract seems to depend on one of the major kings being onside and, of course, a normal club break.
Jansen tried the HQ. North won the King and switched to the D9, Jack and Queen. South switched back to hearts and this impressive defense seemed to leave declarer helpless.
The only good news for Jansen was that both defenders followed suit on two rounds of clubs. On the third round South pitched a diamond. Declarer now deduced that South started with a 1-4-6-2. This meant that the SK was either bare with South or offside.
Jansen cashed two more clubs. South erred by throwing two diamonds. This was the ending:
S AQ8 S 63
H -- H T7
D T6 D A
C -- C --
Jansen cashed the DA, played a spade to the Ace and endplayed South in diamonds. Declarer took the last trick with HT, fulfilling his contract. It wasn't easy for South to see that he should have discarded his spade instead of a diamond. When declarer then cashes DA and plays a spade, South can throw the H9 and makes the rest of the tricks.
At the other table the same contract, doubled, failed by one trick on the lead of S4.