Playing bridge online, I’m getting mostly good boards (the result of bad opponents) but not doing anything particularly well. Then comes the last hand.
S:xxx H:K87643 D:xx C:AK
Partner opens 1 Diamond (nobody vulnerable). We play weak NT at this vulnerability, so partner either has 15+ HCP or an unbalanced shape. RHO doubles. I’m not playing anything fancy so I just bid 1 Heart. LHO passes, partner bids 2 Clubs, and RHO passes.
Since we play that the fourth suit is an artificial game force, 3 Hearts should be invitational. I suspect partner has a weak hand with a stiff heart, but he could have 15+ with a stiff heart (or less and willing to shoot out 3N knowing where the points are).
I bid 3 Hearts and play it there.
LHO leads the Diamond Jack, and I see
Dummy S:KTxx H:J D:AKQ9 C:xxxx Diamond Jack Led Hand S:xxx H:K87643 D:xx C:AK
I win the diamond ace.
I don’t like my chances. And I hit pretty much a maximum pass (I may have risked 3N with partner’s hand. Go down in game!)
Back to the task at hand. The doubler should (in theory) be short in diamonds, but he doesn’t have to be stiff. Perhaps I should lead clubs but — right or wrong — I cash the King of Diamonds (all follow) and then lead the queen and RHO ruffs with the deuce.
Perhaps I should pitch my losing spade. (One of them, anyway). But maybe something good will happen if I give the opponents some chances to go wrong. I over-ruff and lead a small heart. LHO gives a small hitch and plays the ace, then leads a club.
Can LHO really have his hitch? That would mean something like Ax of hearts (AQ would play the Queen, obviously). That also means that RHO doubled with 3 hearts, but sometimes you do that. I don’t think I’m making it unless LHO has his hitch.
I cash the heart king and both follow (LHO with the Ten, RHO with the Nine).
I have a shot. I cash the other club and then lead a spade to the ten. RHO wins the jack then plays the club queen and this is the position.
Dummy: S:Kx H:-- D:9 C:x CQ Led Hand: S:xx H:87 D:-- C:--
Now I’m golden. I ruff the club, then lead my last heart, pitching dummy’s diamond as LHO shows out. RHO wins with the queen and then leads the ace of spades and then the queen of spades to dummy’s king. Making three exactly.
I probably should have just cashed two clubs and then crossed in diamonds to ruff another club to start shortening my hand right away. And RHO only needed to cash his good trump when he was in with the spade jack to avoid the endplay.
I did a lot of questionable things, but at least I read the position correctly. Finally….