Unfortunately, last Sunday’s Column was missing the last paragraph, which was the punch line, so I added it to this story. Larry Lang and Larry Trickey had been in a matchpoint struggle with the pair that they had to do well against. They came out second best on the board played, but there was a happy ending. See the last paragraph!
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Here is a deal that went very much in their favor.
The Bidding: Playing precision, they got to the reasonable contract of 6NT.
Opening Lead: Five of spades. West, a strong player, decided on the lead of his 4th best spade. Against a contract of 6NT, it seems like the king of hearts lead would be better?.
The Play: Declarer took the ace of spades and counted his tricks. He had nine and a strong possibility for a 5th spade. If the fifth spade materialized, he only needed two club tricks for his contract. When he played a second high spade, he realized that he needed three club tricks. A squeeze was considered, but there were too many losers to rectify the count. He led a small club, wondering whether to finesse the nine or not? When the ace popped, he could claim the rest..
The Result: 6NT, bid and made was a top board!
Finally: The story has a happy ending for the two Larrys. They were the winners by the thinnest of margins — only one matchpoint!