Todays deal occurred in local club game. After Norths one-club opening, Easts overcall, and Souths one-spade response, a typical competitive auction took place. East pushed on to five hearts with his freakish distribution and South elected to bid one more for the road.
From Souths viewpoint it was likely that five hearts would succeed, since his hand might not take a trick on defense. Thus, as often happens in competition, the spade suit bought the contract.
West led the heart queen and continued the suit, South ruffing. Trumps were drawn in three rounds ending in the South hand and the club 10 was led. West covered with the king (this is better than the jack, as it leaves South in doubt as to the location of the remaining honor) and Norths ace won. The fall of Easts seven was duly noticed.
South next led the diamond king to Easts ace and won the diamond return with the queen. Then came the club nine, covered by Wests jack (best) and Norths queen. The appearance of Easts eight was a welcome sight.
In case youre not following all this, the club suit now consisted of 5-3 in West and 6-4 in North. South came to his hand with a trump to lead the club two. West followed with the three and declarer finessed the four call the Guinness Book! The club six then provided a discard for Souths losing diamond and the contract was made.
By sharpening his finessing sword, South turned a deliberate sacrifice into a rewarding plus score. Remember this deal the next time you talk about insignificant spot cards.
© 1984 Richard Pavlicek