Opening Lead: Five of hearts
The Bidding: 2C was a game force. 3NT ended the auction although both players thought about going on.
The Opening Lead: Either 4th best lead would allow declarer to make six. Only a spade or the king of clubs lead leaves declarer short of 12 tricks. However, West led his 4th best heart and declarer did not play the nine! If he had, there would be no story.
The Play: Declarer won the first 11 tricks and was down to the two-card ending. He held the ten of diamonds and the queen of hearts. West had the two kings, and dummy had the jack of clubs and the nine of hearts. Declarer played the ten of diamonds and called for the nine of hearts from the dummy. Dummy played the nine and East won the trick with her jack of diamonds and immediately led to the last trick with her last card, the ten of clubs. West sat there still clutching the two kings. West had an easy decision about which king to play when she saw the ten of clubs lead from partner. The Director was called to the table.
The Director Rules: Two weeks ago this was presented as the Director ruled, but a National Director overruled and this is the latest interpretation. East played legally when she played to the 12th trick, but her lead at trick 13 was a violation of Law 57A. The penalty for this premature lead is that declarer can forbid West from playing a card of another suit specified by declarer. Declarer forbids the play of a heart and West must discard his club. The last trick goes to N/S and it is scored as 3NT, making six!
What Happened? This one change in the scoring rearranged the final results for almost everyone.