Log In

Reset Password

Supreme optimism sometimes pays off in declarer play

There are a few guiding principles in declarer play – one is that when everything looks rosy, look for what can go wrong, and when things look hopeless play the hand as if the cards are lying perfectly for you. Today’s hand (see Figure 1) falls into the second category.

Figure 1

North opened 1NT and South went a bit bonkers. He bid two hearts, transferring to spades and when partner bid two spades, he bid three hearts showing a second suit.

North was happy to raise this to four hearts, after which South bid Roman Key Card Blackwood with a 4NT bid – when North showed four key cards, South bid six hearts with his nine points!

West led the King of diamonds against the optimistic slam. Declarer won with the Ace and cashed the Ace and King of hearts. When West discarded a diamond on the second round of trumps, the slam was in deep trouble.

While declarer had bid the hand badly he made up for it in his analysis of the hand and the execution.

He saw that he needed to discard dummy’s diamonds on his spades before East could ruff in and lead a diamond. That meant that a 3-3 spade break would be useless to him as he needed three discards. The best chance for 12 tricks was for East to hold four low spades and West to hold exactly the doubleton Queen.

So, declarer cashed the Ace of clubs and ruffed a club. Next, he led a low spade to dummy’s ten. When that held, he cashed the Ace of spades and was pleased to see West’s Queen appear (even though it could have been a false card from Queen-third).

After ruffing a club back to hand, declarer played his spades from the top and was able to discard dummy’s remaining diamonds on them before East could ruff in with his Queen of trumps. Declarer made four spades, four trumps, the minor-suit aces and two club ruffs for a total of 12 tricks.

Declarer pulled the fat out of the fire in the same way that a 50-foot putt can make up for a lot of rubbish that went before!

David Ezekiel can be reached on davidezekiel999@gmail.com


Friday, August 18

1. Diana Diel-Stephanie Kyme

2. Gertrude Barker-Martha Ferguson

3. Richard Gray-Wendy Gray

Monday, August 21

1. Joseph Wakefield-Stephanie Kyme

2. John Burville-Margaret Way

3. Patricia Siddle-Diana Diel

Tuesday, August 22


1. Ahzjanai Smith-Daque Davis

2. Wenda Krupp-Jane Gregory


1. Jean Schilling-John Thorne

2. Benjamin Stone-Mark Stevens

Wednesday, August 23

1. Gertrude Barker-Jane smith

2. Linda Pollett-William Pollett

3. Patricia Siddle-Diana Diel

Thursday, August 24

1. Betsy Baillie-Lisa Ferrari

2. Harry Kast-Margaret Way (Tied 2nd)

3. Claude Guay-Sharon Shanahan (Tied 2nd)

Non-Bridge Club Online Results for Bridge Club Members

August 22: Judith Bussell and Stephanie Kyme – 6th out of 148 pairs

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 26, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated August 26, 2023 at 7:35 am)

Supreme optimism sometimes pays off in declarer play

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon