Hand of the Week
This deal, reported by Jos Jacobs of the Netherlands, was played by his countryman, Vincent Ramondt in the Politiken Pairs, an annual invitational tournament. It was considered by the International Bridge Press Association as one of the best-played deals of 2000.
East has shown a weak two-bid in hearts with something in spades as well. West led the ♦J.
Can you form a plan to make 3NT on double-dummy basis? Ramondt did it without seeing all the cards.
He won the diamond lead in dummy, cashed the ♦K and played a spade. West won perforce, cashed his other high spade and exited with a diamond.
Ramondt won in hand and made the key play – he cashed the ♥A, extracting West’s exit card. Ramondt then played a diamond from hand. West could cash the other diamond winner, but he had to play a club next, giving Ramondt an extra trick in that suit. This was the position when West exited with a club:
Declarer could win the ♣J in dummy, East following. On the second round of clubs, East could let go of a spade, but when the third round of clubs was played, East had no good play. A spade discard would make declarer’s ♠7 good, while a heart pitch would allow Ramondt to take his ninth trick with dummy’s ♥9.
The only lead West can make to defeat the contract is the ♠A at trick one, followed by the ♠K at trick two and, finally, his singleton heart at trick three.
The full deal: