West leads the Q♠ and, when Dummy goes down, Declarer can see that his 6♥ contract is quite hopeless. The A♣ must be lost, and there is no way to avoid a Diamond loser. Declarer will win the opening Spade, draw trumps and then cash the K♦ and A♦ before conceding the third round of Diamonds. When West wins the J♦, he will quickly shift to a Club, and East’s A♣ scores the setting trick before Declarer’s Clubs disappear on the long Diamonds. Down one.
But that’s not what happened! It’s true, looking at all four hands, that 6♥ should go down, but West was looking at only two hands. Taking advantage of that, Declarer came up with a truly brilliant deception. He ducked the opening lead in both hands! The defense can now cash the A♣ to beat the contract, but it never occurred to West that his partner might have the A♣ and not the A♠. So, naturally enough, West persisted with Spades. Imagine West’s surprise when Declarer’s Ace won the second Spade trick! Next, trumps were drawn, a Diamond was pitched on the K♠, the K♦ was cashed, then the A♦, and a Diamond was ruffed. Now there were two good Diamonds in Dummy on which Declarer was able to pitch his losing Clubs, making 12 tricks!
A most unusual hand! Declarer started out with an inescapable loser in Diamonds and another in Clubs. But, thanks to that lovely first round double duck, he ended up losing a Spade but nothing else!
Click here to view this week's bridge page.