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Declarer came up with a good play to collect an overtrick in today’s deal from a match-point event.

Contract: 3N by south. West leads the SQ. Plan the play.

Bidding comment: You have nine easy tricks once you dislodge the HA. Declarer came up with a series of good plays. Take a guess or decide how will play.

Play: Declarer ducked the opening lead from both the hands, won the spade continuation, played a heart to the ten, and a heart to dummy’s queen. East won and returned a club. Declarer won in hand and played a diamond and ducked when west followed with the ten. West exited in a third spade, dummy and east discarding a diamond each. Declarer cashed the HK to which both the defenders followed suit. The five-card position is:

Declarer cashed the HJ now, discarding a diamond from dummy. East was squeezed in the minors. The full deal is:

Discussion: You would have noticed declarer ducking twice during the play of the hand. The first duck was intended to put the defenders out of touch, playing for a 6-2 break in spades. The second one was to rectify the count, preparatory to the squeeze. Different reasons for a similar play!

If declarer does not duck the opening lead, east on winning the HA will play a spade to clear the suit. Declarer cannot duck a diamond now.

Could the defence have done any better? Of course, yes. East should duck the second heart, win the third, and switch to a club. When declarer ducks a diamond now, west can play a second diamond to break the squeeze.

Play out the deal to appreciate declarer’s play for the overtrick. You will also understand how the defence could have destroyed the squeeze by denying declarer the entry to his hand by the timely duck.

Three ideas of the ducking play, all in a single deal!

Email: ls4bridge@gmail.com

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