I won’t waste any time, here’s a 3NT from Star.
South started with 1 (preparing for a strong NT), West interfered with 1 and the auction ended in 3NT. West kicked off with a small and a rich dummy comes down.
That’s an awful lot of points together, so nine tricks should be easy, not? Count first, there are three , a , two and two available. You just need to conjure one little, cute extra trick. There are several chances, could be 3-3, a working finesse, and there are even distant throw in and/or squeeze possibilities.
I’m still surprised and a bit disturbed that the majority of declarers (including my partner *sorry Hoek*), overlooked the safetyplay in .
Start with the King of and then play a small towards your hand and cover everything East inserts. You win with every 3-2 split, and you can cope with every 4-1 or even 5-0 split.
I think Hoek got punished badly for overlooking the safety play, but on the other hand with these kinds of games you can make or break your own luck.
It’s funny, I was completing this story about safety and nine solid tricks in 3NT, when I found out Marcel Winkel (very likeable and famous Dutch ‘Meesterklasse’ contender) had written too about the same deal.
Mumbles something about great minds…