Paul Bethe

Who has the last trump?

Dealer: N

Vul: None

Lead: J♥

West East
?xxx(?) ?xxx(?)
KJTxx xx
(?)xx (?)Jx
J T987
West Dad East Me
1 P 2
P 3 P 3
P 4 P 5
P 6 All P

My father and I each pushed a bit, the result being a thin slam.

It seemed to me that if both minors broke 3-2, then the slam was cold on two spade ruffs, and there was no need to take either major suit finesse.

So, I won the Ace of hearts, played Ace and ruff a spade, crossed to the Ace of clubs (noting the Jack), and ruffed my last spade.  The Ace of diamonds was unblocked, and a heart ruffed back to hand.  Finally the King of diamonds, opponents following and a heart discarded from dummy (NOT a club).

At this point I played a club towards dummy, planning to claim with one trump loser if they broke.  However, LHO thought for a bit, then discarded a heart.  When I lead a heart from dummy, RHO had to think (yes RHO showed out, so the heart finesse would have worked), then they discarded a spade (as a club discard would have been fatal).  At this point, I was cold, even though I didn’t know who had the last trump.  So I lead a club towards dummy.  West could not ruff, or my club loser would go away, AND could not discard a heart, otherwise dummy’s Queen would provide a winner for a club discard.

So after their Spade discard, LHO was known to hold the heart King and either the high trump, or a spade.  RHO was known to hold a good club, and either the master trump or a spade.  When I lead a heart from dummy, I was either scoring my last trump en-passant, or via the compression squeeze affected on LHO the previous trick.  Either way, +920 was worth a lot of matchpoints.

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