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There are many instructive points in simple hands. An examination of hands played by top players reveals a lot more about their skill than studying the rare brilliancy. 

Try taking Helgemo's seat for this declarer play problem

North
6
84
AK1065
AQJ65
South
AKQ852
A5
97
1092
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

The opponents lead a heart. 

Shall we setup our side suit or draw trumps?

North
6
84
AK1065
AQJ65
South
AKQ852
A5
97
1092
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

While the side suit has not been setup, the trump suit is quite robust and intuition suggests drawing trumps.

A quick trick and control check could go along these lines :  I can win the A, play three rounds of trumps and take a club finesse. Even if spades are 4-2 and the club king is offside, I rate to make ten tricks : five spades, one heart, two diamonds and two clubs.

Declarer also reasoned similarly and started on trumps. On the second trump, West showed out.

North
8
AK106
AQJ65
South
Q852
5
97
1092

What now?

North
8
AK106
AQJ65
South
Q852
5
97
1092

A quick analysis would suggest that we now need the club finesse to succeed. If that works, we rate to make four spades (six spades minus two losers), one heart, two diamonds and three clubs. The opponents can, meanwhile, take only two trump tricks and a heart.

It is very natural at this point to proceed with just that plan. Can you spot the flaw?

North
8
AK106
AQJ65
South
Q852
5
97
1092

There is no rush to take the club finesse. If it loses, the hand is over. The defence can cash their heart and await two trump tricks. Helgemo instead assessed the extra possibility in the diamond suit.

He next played three rounds of diamonds, ruffing in hand. 

Say the diamonds split 3-3 and the diamond in dummy has now been setup. 

North
8
10
AQJ65
South
Q85
5
1092

What now?

North
8
10
AQJ65
South
Q85
5
1092

Now declarer can cross to the club Ace!  His plan is to take a heart discard on the established diamond and then play the Q next.

The trick taking plan has now changed to 4 spades, 1 heart, 3 diamonds and 2 clubs. 

A neat little improvement on our original plan.

Notice that exploiting this chance requires declarer drawing precisely two rounds of trumps. If the third high trump had been released and East held the guarded K, East could pitch on the diamond, win K, pull declarer's trumps and enjoy the hearts. Declarer never scores his second club trick!

At the table, East showed out on the third diamond as declarer ruffed. Down to his last chance, declarer  took a club finesse which worked. The full hand was

West
3
J732
J832
K853
North
6
84
AK1065
AQJ64
East
J10974
KQ1096
Q4
7
South
AKQ852
A5
97
1092
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
14
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Was this another simple hand?

Steve Weinstein for USA, Gabino Alujas for Argentina and Simon de Wijs for Netherlands also made the most of the extra chance. 

However, there were at least two declarers who took the club finesse directly without testing diamonds.

Why do you think this happened?

This is the Bermuda Bowl after all and there is no doubt that those declarers were capable of finding this simple play.

However, knowing when to stop and think is one of the biggest challenges in bridge card play. 

Most bridge players most of the time play along with the rhythm of the game. That could be set by their own style or dictated by the opponents' tempo. When something unexpected occurs, it is not easy both to identify and address it.

The stronger the player, the more frequently he manages to do it. It is simply a matter of discipline and awareness.

Discipline. Awareness. Simple words but tough weapons to acquire.

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