Only one hand today. You are North and have to play 6 Spades with these cards, after this bidding (you can't see the last few bids, but North replied to the key-card ask with 5 Hearts, showing 2 KC without the Queen, and South bid 6 Spades):
You are playing against our own experts, Miguel Villas-Boas in East and Diego Brenner in West. The lead was the 9 of clubs, upon which West played the Queen.
This setup is how Diego Brenner presented the hand to me. First of all, what is going on in the club suit? Is East really leading from small cards in declarer's first bid suit? These guys are tricky and East can easily have led from the King. I ask Diego about this, and he gives me a frank "it looks like East has led from the King". At the table these feelings count for a lot.
In any case the technical line appears to be cashing 2 top spades and, if nothing strange happens, trying to guess diamonds. If the Queen of trumps drops, the hand becomes a laydown.
So I cash the 2 spades and East shows out.
Now I have to decide how to play the diamonds. This 4-1 split makes it harder for me to win the contract through a ruffing finesse in diamonds; if East covers with the hypothetical King, I ruff in dummy and run hearts (after pitching dummy's club in the 3rd diamond), but this will require West to follow suit to at least 3 hearts If West has 2 hearts only. I will end up with: 4 trumps in hand (overruffing/pitching as West ruffs hearts with a low/high trump), 2 ruffs in dummy, 2 hearts, 2 Aces, and a diamond honor = 11 tricks.
I could try to slip past East's diamond King by playing the Ace and Jack for this finesse, but these guys are too good to fall for that. If it were the only chance, I`d surely try it, but as the cards stand now the straight diamond finesse (low to the Queen) looks like the best bet. That's my announcement, and I get lucky when the full cards are:
At the other table, East leads a diamond against Marcelo Branco in the same contract, so this is a big swing for our experts.
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