South in today’s deal was Marcelo Caracci, from Chile. When you are declaring a contract with barely more trumps than the opponents, you have to protect your trumps as much as possible — the opponents will try to attack your trump holding and take control from you.
Caracci did well to discard a club from dummy on the opening lead rather than ruffing. Had East shifted to a club, Caracci would have had an easy time. East, however, made a good play by continuing with a low spade, attacking dummy’s trumps. Caracci made another good decision when he played the six from his hand. West played the king and Caracci ruffed in dummy.
A heart to the queen won the trick, and East won the jack of hearts continuation with the ace. East again attacked dummy’s trumps by leading the queen of spades. Caracci ruffed in dummy and cashed the king of hearts — his last trump. South read the position beautifully by cashing the ace and king of clubs before starting to run the diamonds. East ruffed the third round of diamonds, but he only had the 10-8 of spades remaining. South had the J-9 of spades. East led the eight and Caracci put in the nine to land his contract. Very well played!