Your 2NT opener showed 20-21 high-card points. Your partner made the normal raise to 3NT. West begins the attack with the ♠2. You have seven top tricks. How will you come up with two more?
This was the auction at both tables in a teams match. Each West led a fourth-highest ♠2. The first declarer took the trick with the ♠A and played the ♦A, ♦K and another diamond. West won the trick with the ♦10 and cashed the ♦Q, East discarding a low heart and a low club. Declarer took West’s exit of the ♠Q with the king and cashed the ♣Q, ♣A and ♣K. Next, he led the ♥2 from dummy. East played low and declarer’s ♥Q won the trick. Alas, with only ♥K 6 4 left, declarer had to lose the last three tricks and finished down one.
At the other table, the declarer counted seven top tricks with another available in hearts. He judged that the best chance of making the contract was to play West for the ♥J. Accordingly, after winning the first trick with the ♠K, this declarer led a low heart at trick two. West rose with the ♥J and played the ♠Q. Declarer took this with the ace and continued with the ♥6. Dummy’s 10 forced East’s ace and declarer claimed nine tricks: two spades, two hearts, two diamonds and three clubs. The full deal: