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A relaxed online teams-of-four match, with some pre-set hands, produced some wild swings, probably induced by the camaraderie of video conferencing running alongside the bridge, and everyone at home having unfettered access to the drinks cabinet. Even late at night, one declarer proved he still had his eye on the main chance.
South’s jump to 6H was alcohol-fuelled, but scarcely foolish. Without advanced methods, it will be hard to discover the right spot. West led J♦ and declarer contemplated his chances. With a certain diamond loser and at least one club loser (the second can be pitched on K♦ or Q♦), the contract seems hopeless. South, pragmatic and determined, realised that West would never underlead an ace against a slam, so East was marked with A♦. If it was singleton or doubleton, 6H might yet make.
At trick 1, South played low from dummy; East an uninspiring 3♦. West switched to 8♠ and, in a way, this encouraged South that his hopes might be about to come true. Winning K♠, he immediately led 7♦ from table. To his delight, East produced A♦, and now the hand is made. Declarer draws trumps and pitches two clubs on ♦KQ.
At the other table, South also played in 6H, but he covered the lead with Q♦, and then, far too late, tried to make a plan
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