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D. Vijay is an up-and-coming bridge player in Chennai. Enjoy the deal (read thriller) below that he played in an IMP match held recently in the city.

Contract: Spade four by south. West leads Club four, fourth-best.

East played the ten and south won with the king. Declarer immediately played back a club, losing to east's eight. East cashed heart ace and played a heart to his partner's king. West continued a third heart which declarer ruffed, east discarding a diamond. Declarer played a spade to the king and ruffed a club hoping to bring down the ace. No luck. The play gets more interesting from here on.

Declarer crossed to diamond king in dummy and called for the fourth heart! East ruffed with the nine, declarer over ruffing with the ace. The last four-card position was:

Vijay led the spade from hand and successfully finessed the ten, east discarding a diamond. Now came the last trump from dummy, east discarding a diamond again. Declarer now called for the diamond seven from dummy and east followed with the ten. Vijay knew east's thirteenth card as club ace and so played the diamond ace from hand, felling the queen from west.

The full deal is:

Discussion: When dummy's spade ten won, east's hand was counted out to be 2-2-5-4. The last trump from dummy squeezed east in diamond length and the club ace. As you can see, the play involves a dummy reversal and count squeeze at the finish!

Declarer's timing, technique, and visualising the ending was truly magnificent. A complex hand played with great skill by the declarer.



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