Main Article 7K45 by Richard Pavlicek
This deal from the Bracketed Knockout Teams in Cincinnati caused some heated discussion. After a routine opening bid and overcall, West made a very negative double, North raised his partners suit, and East took a stab at 3 NT based on his powerful clubs. This contract would have been set two tricks, but South overbid to four spades, and East doubled.
4 × South
|None Vul|| 8 6 3|
8 6 5 4 3 2
A Q 4
K J 9 7
9 7 6 3 2
J 9 2
| Q J 10|
K J 10
A K Q 10 8 7
|Lead: 2|| A K 9 7 5 2|
6 4 3
West led his partners club suit, and East shifted to a trump at trick two, won by the king. Declarer next won the A and gave up a heart to West (East pitched a club); then the diamond shift was won by the ace. For the next four tricks, East was helpless as declarer crossruffed hearts and clubs. Finally, when a good heart was led from dummy, East ruffed and South pitched his losing diamond making four spades doubled.
Just lead a trump and we beat it two tricks! East berated his partner. Or at least lead the club jack so I can let you hold the lead for a diamond switch.
Sorry, admitted West, I just made a normal lead. I could have avoided this ugly mess if I just passed one spade. But I think you could have beaten it yourself.
There was nothing I could do, argued East.
West was right. There were actually two ways for East to beat the contract. The simplest was a club return at trick two, which kills an entry to dummy and prevents declarer from establishing a long heart. But even after the trump shift, the defense could prevail with a spectacular gambit: East must ruff the second heart with his natural trump trick and lead his last trump.
© 2000 Richard Pavlicek