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Board 16 Segment 3 of Quarterfinal

Check out the hand record and results here:

It looks like a grand slam on a finesse...a very swingy board but of little intellectual interest, or so you might think. In 7 you have a choice of 3 finesses (can go either way in diamonds) while in 7NT you will surely take the diamond hook as only that gives you the 2 extra tricks you need. But see what happened when Italy reached 7NT. The Polish player tried to make a passive lead, but the heart wasn't quite passive enough. Taking the heart hook for declarer gave him 12 tricks, and now declarer was able to exploit the awesome power of the 9 for a double squeeze. The squeeze was the percentage play by a form of restricted choice: If South had both kings, North might have lead a diamond...his actual lead was more likely to happen when he held the K, so this is what declarer played for. Well done, though also poor luck for the Poles. If South had held the 9 the grand slam would have been unmakeable.

Disclaimer: My description of the play after the opening lead is inferential as I did not see a play record, but I believe it must be right.

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