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Board 15 in USA2 vs. Sweden QF Bermuda Bowl (47th Board of QF match)
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The 47th board of the first day of the USA2 vs. Sweden QF match was an opportunity for Chip Martel to demonstrate why he is a Hall of Fame player.

C Martel
A82
J108
AKQ3
952
Nystrom
J74
K76432
7
J87
Fleisher
Q1093
A5
J86
K1064
Upmark
K65
Q9
109542
AQ3
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
15
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
1
 1N showed 14-16 HCP.  North led 4, declarer ducked to South's Q. South returned a heart to dummy's Ace.  What do you play at trick three?

Chip needed North to hold Kxxxxx, and South to hold K and A to avoid losing more heart tricks.  To make 9 tricks, he needed to win 3 spade tricks to go with his four diamond tricks and A, and win a club trick with an end play (since he needed South to hold A).  At trick 3, he led the Q from dummy!  South was concerned that declarer might have AJ(x) of spades, so he ducked the Q to avoid making it easy for declarer to run four spade tricks without finding another entry to dummy (declarer had denied having four spades in response to Stayman).  (Of course, if South covered the Q, North would get in with the J and set the contract at least four tricks with 5 hearts, 1 spade and at least two club tricks.) Now declarer led a low spade, South following small, and West winning the A.  Declarer now cashed 4 diamonds, and played a spade to endplay South.  South could cash the 10 (West and East discarding clubs) and A, but he had to allow declarer to score the K, and with that entry to dummy, the 13th spade to make 3N.  At the other table, West opened 1, East responded 1N and West bid 3N.  South led a low diamond, which declarer won in dummy.  Declarer tried to set up the club suit, leading a club to the 10, and ended up losing 3 clubs, 1 diamond, 1 heart and 1 spade to go down two for an 11 imp swing to USA2.

Chip's play of Q catered not only to Kxx(x) in South, with South declining to cover, but also if South held KJx(x) of spades to set up three spade tricks.  Once Q held trick, and a second spade was led from dummy, South could have played K on second spade lead to avoid spade endplay.   But Chip would have had a counter to that play by ducking the K.  Let's say South would then lead a diamond (spade has same effect).  West could win diamond in hand, cash A, and play diamond to J and play 13th spade from dummy.  At this point the remaining cards would be:

C Martel
J
AK
952
Nystrom
K76
J87
Fleisher
10
8
K1064
Upmark
1095
AQ3
W
N
E
S
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
15
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
1

If South pitches a diamond, declarer can cash last two diamonds and play a club and cover North's club card.  South can take two club tricks (to go with one spade and one heart), but then has to give up a club to dummy for declarer's ninth trick.

If South pitches a small club (coming down to three diamonds and AQ, declarer has a full count on South's distribution.  Now he has to lead a small club from dummy, playing South to be down to AQ.  South wins Q, plays a diamond, but declarer just ducks a club to South's A, wins the diamond return and takes remaining tricks to score contract.  

If South pitches the Q on the 13th spade, declarer has to guess whether South originally had AQJ or AQx.    With AQJ, declarer needs to play a small club from dummy at this trick.  But with AQx, declarer needs to cash his two diamonds and then lead a club to the 10.    South can win A and cash the 13th diamond, but has to give dummy the 9th trick with K.  Restricted choice would favor playing South for AQx rather than AQJ, but West would have to weigh whether South would have found brilliant discard of Q from AQx.  

A fascinating hand, and brilliiant declarer play to make an unlikely game that only works with expert defenders who would decline to "cover an honor with an honor".

Declarer could still have come home on the actual hand by playing a spade to the Ace at trick three and a spade to the nine.  South would win, and the play could develop along similar lines to the actual running of Q if South had played K on the second spade.  But this line would go down if South held KJx(x) of spades.

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