COULD I HAVE DONE BETTER ? ........( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
After a short bidding sequence of 1NT-3NT, I received a passive opening 9D lead from a disconsolate looking East . Thankful that my one heart stopper was still intact , I proceeded to rattle off seven more tricks in the minors. West soon started to look miffed when forced to make 3 discards, these being J109 of hearts. East parted with one one heart and a spade , while I also pitched a losing heart.
This left me with A75-Ax in dummy , opposite my Jxx...xx in the majors. Sensing that the heart situation was now a doubleton all round , I cashed my Ace and exited with a small heart taken by West. Calmly and without a flicker of emotion he played the Queen of spades , which I took in dummy with the Ace. At trick 12, I played a small spade towards my J9 and yet again West smooth as you like played low. I unfortunately decided to play the 9 losing to East's 10. So with another spade loser to come , I ended up with 10 tricks for a flat board.
But could I have done better ? The answer must surely be " yes ". All the clues were there.
Why would West come down to the bare KQ of hearts unless he wasn't desperate to preserve his spade holding ?
No sensible East lead a passive diamond if he had 4 spades to an honour ?
Would West , an experienced grandmaster lead an unsupported queen of spades ? And knowing that he didn't possess the Jack , then surely there was a strong inference he must be holding the King ?
Moreover , if West did hold the KQ of spades then leading the King would be too much of a dead giveaway.......so unlikely given he is a canny player ?
When adding up all these factors, I should have risen with the Jack at trick 12 to secure 11 tricks and a galactic stop. By opening a frisky no trump I had created for myself a wonderful opportunity to beat the field , only to throw it away away....... and beat myself up instead.
Yes, welcome to the bizarre and cruel world of bridge.....
( The full hand can be seen opposite )