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A Good 3-3 Fit

A K 10 4
A J 6
7 4
A K 8 4
J 7 6
Q 4 3 2
K Q 10 9
Q 5
 
Q 9 8 2
10 9 5
6 3
J 10 9 2
5 3
K 8 7
A J 8 5 2
7 6 3
5 and 5 both lose at least three tricks in the minors.
Declarer has eight top tricks in no trump, and it looks like he should be able to set up a nineth trick somewhere, but it doesn't materialize.
The only game which makes is 4 , declared by South.
On a non-diamond lead, declarer ruffs a spade, draws three rounds of trumps, and cashes the club winners. Declarer then ducks a diamond to West:
10
7 4
8 4
Q
K Q 10 9
 
Q
6 3
J 10
A J 8 5 2
West can take his long trump, but then must attack the diamonds. If he leads a high one, declarer ducks. In any event, declarer will score the A and J.
If West had started with a diamond lead, declarer would duck the first round, and West would have to shift. The end position would be substantially the same.
If 4 is declared by North, however, East could lead a diamond and set the contract.
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Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2014.
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