Fred Hamilton has been a top player for decades. On this deal from the Senior Knockout Teams at the 2003 Fall NABC in New Orleans, he again demonstrated his skill.
Mark Horton, visiting from England, wrote in the NABC Daily Bulletin that the deal “featured some excellent declarer play, one textbook piece of defense and one opportunity missed.”
West started with the ♣J, which held the trick. The club continuation was won by East, who played a third round of clubs. Hamilton ruffed with the ♥Q, but West had a classic holding and discarded a diamond. It now appears that declarer must lose two trump tricks.
Hamilton, however, knew a lot about the deal from the bidding, so he cashed the ♦A and ruffed a diamond, then played two rounds of spades and ruffed a spade in hand. A diamond ruff was followed by a second spade ruff. Hamilton then exited with the ♥J and West, down to his original three hearts, had the choice of being endplayed if he won the ♥K (he would have to lead from the ♥10 3 into Hamilton’s ♥A 8) or ducking, in which case Hamilton’s heart losers would be reduced to one.
Did you spot West’s error? At trick three, West must discard a spade rather than a diamond. Then when Hamilton tries to ruff the fourth round of spades, West can overruff and still get his ♥K later.
The full deal: