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A Truly Beautiful Ending [for declarer], but is it a 'beer card"?

West
10
Q8762
54
97654
North
K765
A5
AJ972
KQ
East
AQJ84
3
K1063
J82
South
932
KJ1094
Q8
A103
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0

 

Sometimes, playing this game, a beautiful position arises for the declarer or the defence. Here is an ending that looks like it belongs in Adventures in Card Play, although, as is sometimes the case, it arose through an unsuccessful sortie earlier in the play. Where I come from [Down Under], there is an old adage, Good enough to bid, good enough to lead. East ignored that to his cost. On a spade honour lead, 3NT will fail. If North goes after diamonds, East has five tricks, and if North pursues hearts, the blockage in clubs prevents declarer getting the nine tricks apparently available since West's exit cards in diamonds cannot be extracted.

East led 2. Looking at dummy, the first thought that struck me was that West had a stiff high spade. If I were a gambler, I'd have thought, the Jack. In any event, I was thankful to have been spared the spade lead. My chances were quite good. Winning in hand, I led 2, and not wishing to stake all on the position of the 10, played Q winning. T3 was 8 to A and T4 saw East win D10, disappointingly for me [West abandoned a small heart.]. East ploughed on in clubs with me winning again in hand, and I knocked out K [West letting another small heart go]. East established their club(s) by persisting with J to dummy's Ace, as I let go a small spade.

This was the position with six tricks to go. N K76 A5 7  E  AQJ84 3  S 93 KJ109 W  10  Q87 76 The hand was pretty much an open book now. I crossed to A and led 7 [beer card] and showed my hand to West [a friendly opponent of many years standing], who conceded.

The diamond winner squeezed West in three suits, which enables the duck of a spade to either opponent. If a club winner is thrown, the defence do not have enough winners. If a heart is let go, dummy's hearts are good, and if the 10 is released, East is obliged to give North the ninth trick in the K.

 

Putting aside the beauty of the ending, the important question is: Since the 7 was winning and was the last card played, is it a 'beer card'?

 

P.S. For those of you not familiar with the concept of the 'Beer Card' [where 7 wins the last trick] my understanding is it developed out of international youth tournaments in the 1990's. The simple situation is where declarer wins T13 with the card and is worth one beer. Various situations lead to increasing rewards/penalties until, if a defender wins T13 with the card to defeat declarer's redoubled contract, that is worth a case of beer.

 

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