Hand of the Week
The 3♦bid promised 8-11 points – with a weaker hand North would bid 2NT, a relay to 3♣, after which 3♦ would show a diamond suit with 7 high-card points or fewer. On this deal, of course, South would not bid 3♣ (he knows North would pass if he has a club suit) but would show his extra strength by refusing to relay, bidding 3♠ instead.
West leads the ♥3, an obvious singleton. You win and cash the ♠A and ♠K, both opponents following with low cards. How do you plan to make your contract?
After drawing the last trump, cash the ♦A and ♦K. If the ♦Q is singleton or doubleton then you have all 13 tricks. When the ♦Q does not appear you need West to hold that card, as in this layout.
You continue by cashing the ♣A and crossing to dummy with the ♣J. Next comes the spectacular play. You lead the ♦J and discard the ♣K! West, who has only minor-suit cards left, wins the trick and puts you back in dummy to cash the ♣Q and ♦10. You make five trumps, the ♥A, three diamonds and three clubs.
Why was this called a column hand? Well, in the early days of bridge such jettison plays (throwing ♣K) appeared almost weekly in bridge columns. In real life, they occur about twice every millennium.