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Vorhand Mittelhand Hinterhand Skat J: -- J: S J: C S D C: K 9 C: A 10 8 7 C: Q S: 10 Q 7 S: A K 9 S: 8 H: A K 9 H: -- H: 10 7 H: Q 8 D: K 8 D: A 7 D: 10 Q 9
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Play at table 2 | Play at table 1 V M H V M | V M H V M S7 SA S8 | SQ SK S8 C7 CQ CK | SJ CQ C9 S10 S9 H10 | C7 DJ CK SQ SK DJ | D9 DK DA D9 DK DA | SA HJ S7 SJ CJ C9 | D10 D8 D7 H7 HK D7 | CJ HA C8 D8 CA DQ | H10 H9 CA C8 HJ HA | C10 H7 HK D10 H9 C10 | S9 DQ S10 declarer wins with 63 points | declarer wins with 65 points
2. This is correct if M and H each started with two spades. On this distribution of cards it gives away a trick, but is not fatal for the defence.
3. This is a mistake. H's trumps are strong and will always win tricks. Trumping this trick improves declarer's trump control, gets the lead in the wrong place, and does not take enough points in compensation. On the other hand, V could have avoided this situation by switching to a heart rather than leading his last spade: it is very likely from V's point of view that M has the SK. After this trick, declarer is likely to win.
4. However, playing the ace of diamonds here rather than the king gives the defenders a second chance.
5. But H needed to cash the D10 on this trick to win. It's not quite obvious that this is right, because declarer might have started with a singleton DA and three little hearts, of which he could discard only two, in which case the heart lead is best.
6. This finesse looks extremely risky to me. V is unlikely to have led away from a doubleton 10, so if the king wins the ace is probably going to be trumped. However, it happens to work well on this deal, not by catching the 10, but because the spade ace can now be used to force out one of H's big trumps, which happens at trick 5.
7. I would have led a small trump, as at the other table, which works well if CJ is with the shorter trumps, and falls in the first two rounds.
8. However, the SJ lead gave H the opportunity for this extraordinary play, after which the contract is safe. The only case I can think of in which playing the queen can gain is if Vorhand has a singleton small trump. If V has any of the ace, 10 and king, as here, this simply presents declarer with an extra trick.