Contract bridge: ambitious game contract reliant on both fortune and skill
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What do you need to happen in order to make your contract? Here, the declarer’s logical answer was impeccable . . .
Over West’s 1D opening, North opted to double. Quite what he does if his partner bids lots of hearts is unknown but, when East bid a disruptive 1H, South stretched to jump to 2S and North, probably relieved, raised to game. West led ♦AK, on which East dropped 8♦ and 6♦, indicating four cards. West then switched to K♥ and declarer, who had thought carefully at trick 1, quickly won A♥ and, laid down A♠ and K♠, not blinking when the suit politely split 2-2, and then tackled clubs, which also divided perfectly. 4S made.
Considering the aggressive bidding, one might expect trumps to break 3-1, and the 2-2 club break is against the odds, but this is what declarer had deduced: West’s hand is marked as 5-4 in diamonds and hearts. In order for the contract to succeed, it is essential that the club suit divides 2-2, otherwise South cannot avoid a loser there.
Therefore, to complete the layout of West’s hand, the trumps must also be dividing 2-2. Since this distribution is the only one that allows declarer to succeed, this is layout for which he plays.