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I am not a full time bridge pro.  Sometimes a part-time one (ask about availability, I won't mind).

Instead, I work a rather standard day between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM at a large company (hint: they make cars), so I don't spend a lot of time on BBO like I used to when I worked from home. However, during key events like what is going on in Orlando, I will tune in during my lunch hour with my Android. 

On Thursday, I tuned in to watch some locals, Hemant Lall and Petra Hamman compete in the Mixed Teams. 

The following hand came up: 

West
87
K84
Q10
Q65432
North
A43
AJ9
J764
AK8
East
J109
106
A952
J1097
South
KQ652
Q7532
K83
D
21

Hemant and Petra held the NS cards and bid to a quiet 4. The play record says they made exactly 4 which seems odd - even if you misguess hearts, you can make 5.  

The other table was more interesting: 

Helgemo
87
K84
Q10
Q65432
Ritmeijer
A43
AJ9
J764
AK8
Larsson
J109
106
A952
J1097
Ticha
KQ652
Q7532
K83
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
21
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

The auction seems standard up until 4. Was this a sting cue-bid? Some last-train version? Anyway, after a RKC auction, the Dutch rolled into slam. 

With the club duplication, slam seems pretty terrible. It needs 3-2 trump plus bringing in hearts for no losers. While Deep Finesse will play this suit successfully about 1/3 of the time, us lesser humans will not be as successful and will sometimes lose to any of Kx, KTx or Kxx onside. 

The play seemed to go quickly. 

Jessica led the A, which didn't seem to give up any material, since two diamond losers disappear on the clubs. 

Ritmeijer won the return (noticing the drop of the Queen) and drew trump.

Perhaps influenced by vacant spaces, he ran the Q which was covered, and, delaying the heart guess, he cashed the club AK and the J. While this didn't gain anything it furthered the count on the hand. At this point he ruffed the club and played his last trump for good measure. 

Helgemo
84
Q
Ritmeijer
J9
4
Larsson
10
9
J
Ticha
6
75
D
21

On this trick, I was expecting Geir to toss the Q. Clearly partner is down to the dry T - otherwise declarer would have claimed, plus we have a lock count on the hand.  From there, I would have expected declarer would have backed the 1:2 horse and hooked for -1. 

However, Geir did something most surprising.....

He discarded the 4.....!!!!!!!!!!

OMG! I thought, what a brilliant play! He seems like he is representing: 

Helgemo
1084
Ritmeijer
J9
4
Larsson
9
QJ
Ticha
6
75
D
21

On this layout, he "has" to pitch a heart and the the finesse looks clear. 

However, Ritmeijer seemed to look deeper into the hand. If the layout was as represented it would mean that Larsson actually started with: 

East
J109
6
A952
QJ1097

Would she lead the A? The Q or possibly singleton heart may have been more appealing. 

After some thought, he got it right and was soon +13 en route to a big 2nd half. 

In retrospect, I think pitching the heart may have been the wrong play, and on another layout it would have planted a stronger image in declarer's mind. 

The entire hand:

Helgemo
87
K84
Q10
Q65432
Ritmeijer
A43
AJ9
J764
AK8
Larsson
J109
106
A952
J1097
Ticha
KQ652
Q7532
K83
W
N
E
S
 
1N
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
D
21
6 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
A
3
10
4
2
0
1
2
K
Q
6
3
1
1
2
7
A
9
1
2
1
3
10
Q
8
3
3
1
K
2
4
J
3
4
1
Q
K
A
6
1
5
1
J
5
8
3
1
6
1
K
7
2
4
1
7
1
A
9
3
5
1
8
1
8
10
5
6
3
9
1
6
4
7
9
3
10
1
5
8
J
10
1
11
1
9
J
7
Q
1
12
1
N/S +1430
13

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