Arthur C. Clarke, who was a top science fiction author, said, “We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40; and half the things he knows at 40 hadn’t been discovered when he was 20?”
When playing through a bridge deal, you learn more the older you become — the further through the play that you go. In today’s deal, South pushes into seven spades. How should he plan the play after West leads the diamond queen?
North responded with the Jacoby Forcing Raise, showing four or more spades and at least game-forcing values. South launched Roman Key Card Blackwood, learning that his partner had both missing aces and the spade king. Then, South did not bother to ask for the spade queen, because he knew they had at least a 10-card fit.
Declarer needed to find the club queen. But before deciding which way to finesse, he played the other three suits first.
South won with dummy’s diamond ace and ruffed a diamond high in his hand — a critical play. He led a trump to dummy’s queen, ruffed another diamond, crossed back to dummy with a trump and ruffed the last diamond. Then he played three rounds of hearts, ruffing the last on the board. What had declarer learned?
He had discovered that East started with one spade, six hearts and five diamonds. So, he must have only one club. South played a club to his king, then ran the club jack through West for a 100% finesse.