Bridge by Frank Stewart
Cy the Cynic's team had lost a close match, thanks in part to today's deal.
"Maybe now Cy will adopt 'transfer' responses," his teammates said.
Both Norths had opened 1NT, but one South bid two diamonds, a transfer. When North bid two hearts, South tried 3NT, but North converted to four hearts. East led the A-K and a third spade, and North ruffed, drew trumps, and gave himself an extra chance by leading a diamond toward dummy's jack. When East took the queen, North had 10 tricks. If West had held the queen, North could have finessed in clubs.
A contract of four hearts played by North was cold. But at the other table, Cy responded three hearts to 1NT, and North raised. West led the eight of clubs: queen, king. East took the K-A of spades and led the jack of clubs, and the Cynic lost another club.
Most experts use transfers. They make the stronger hand declarer and allow a more flexible auction. Still, Cy might make four hearts. He plays low from dummy on the first club. East wins with the ten, cashes two spades (not best), and leads a trump. Cy ruffs his last spade in dummy and takes all but one of his trumps, pitching the queen of clubs from dummy.
Dummy is left with the A-K-6-4 of diamonds and ace of clubs. Cy has a trump, J-3 of diamonds, and 9-5 of clubs. East can keep five cards. If he saves four diamonds and the bare king of clubs, South takes the ace of clubs and wins the 13th trick with the nine. If instead East keeps only three diamonds, Cy takes the A-K and ruffs a diamond. Dummy is high.