First Light

When play got under way in the Yeh Online Bridge World Cup the sun was still below the horizon. It did not take long for the interesting deals to start to appear:

b1

b1a

West led the nine of hearts and declarer ducked East’s jack, won the heart return with dummy’s ace and played a club to the queen. When that held she continued with the queen of diamonds, covered by the king and ace, came to hand with the jack of diamonds, East pitching the six of clubs and played the seven of spades, West following with the five. This was the critical moment. If declarer  lets the seven run she will finish with ten tricks. However, she went up with dummy’s king and ran the ten of spades to West’s jack. Back came a diamond and declarer won and continued with the queen of spades. West won,and cashed his diamonds, and when declarer parted with the nine of spades the contract was two down, -100.

Should declarer have taken the winning view in spades?

She knew that West held five diamonds and had found a short suit lead. In addition East’s discard of the Fiori6 suggested a five card suit, which meant West must be 4-3-5-1. I guess you know the answer to my question.

b2

West led the six of diamonds and declarer won with the ten, and with time in hand, played a spade to the king and ran the ten of spades to West’s jack. Back came the nine of hearts and declarer ducked East’s jack, won the next heart perforce with dummy’s ace, played a club to the queen, ran the queen of diamonds and forced out the ace of spades, +400 and 11 IMPs.

b3

b4

East must have been surprised to see North open 1Picche. When the opponents died in 2Fiori West came to life and now East must have considered making a contribution.

North led the ace of spades and when South pitched the two of diamonds, he switched to the seven of clubs. Declarer won in dummy and played a heart for the four, five and eight. North returned a club to dummy’s ace and declarer played a heart for the queen and ace, North parting with the four of spades. Declarer cashed the queen of clubs and three rounds of diamonds before exiting with a spade. He was sure to score a heart, +110.

b5

Here it was North who got the surprise in the spade suit.

North led the seven of clubs and declarer won perforce in dummy and played the jack of spades, North winning with the queen as South threw the four of hearts. A club return to dummy’s king saw declarer cross to hand with a diamond and play the five of spades. North took the king and played a third club, but declarer could win, go to dummy with a diamond and force out the ace of spades. North could cash a club, but declarer had the rest, +400 and 7 IMPs.