Canadian Dianna Gordon found an elegant defense on this deal from the 1996 Women’s Olympiad in Greece:
Gordon, who won the World Mixed Pairs with George Mittelman in 1990, was West. Her 1♥ opening was followed by two passes. The South player jumped directly to 4♠ ending the auction.
Gordon led the ♥K. Her partner played the ♥3 to indicate an odd number. East’s signal should show count in this type of situation, since her attitude about hearts is known. Hence the 3 is meant to show an odd number (East could begin an echo – high-low – to show an even number), not to tell West that she’s disinterested in hearts.
Declarer completed the first trick with the ♥7. Gordon was fairly sure that her partner had three low hearts and that declarer had a singleton. The jump to 4♠ made it more likely that declarer started with one heart, while East started with three.
How would you defend if you were West? If you try to cash the ♥A, declarer will ruff, draw trumps and play the ♣K. Even if you duck (you should), declarer will play a second club, endplaying you: If you play a heart or a club, declarer will pitch both diamonds in his hand on the club and heart queens to make an overtrick. If you instead exit with a diamond, declarer will score the ♦K to make the contract on the nose.
Gordon found the right defense at trick two even without the benefit of seeing all four hands. She exited with a low club which ran to declarer’s king. After drawing trumps, declarer played a second club which Gordon won with the ace. She then played the ♥A. Declarer ruffed, of course, but was then forced to play diamonds from her hand for down one.
The full deal: