Do you recall Bob Hamman’s remark that ‘the best play badly and the rest are awful?’
What do you make of this deal from the second session of the Semifinals?
With the exception of the French women, who played in 3, the entire field attempted 4 on the EW cards.
Everyone got a heart lead and winning with the ace meant that declarer was likely to play a spade at trick two, thereby avoiding the possible loss of two trump tricks.
After taking the ace of spades and a heart South inevitably switched to a diamond, leaving declarer to work out how to avoid the possible loss of two tricks in the minors.
Two declarer’s drew trumps and played two rounds of diamonds, hoping that if South won one of the club honours would be well placed. Not today and they went down.
Everyone else went after the clubs, usually playing low to the jack (One rogue started by leading the jack of clubs.) subsequently getting rid of a losing diamond.
However, there is stronger line in the club suit, that affords an 83.85% chance of scoring three tricks.
Declarer should start by cashing the ace; on the second round, you lead low towards the jack.
The bidding on this deal would have tended to eliminate the possibility that North had started with a singleton queen of clubs, but this combination is worth remembering!