That's right, words fail me. I don't have a clever title for this deal. Only an immense feeling of voided self-worth.


Dummy
QT765
AJ92
MeJ864Partner
AJ9--432
T654
Q3DeclarerK975
KQ986SK8AT542
HKQ873
DAT2
CJ73


Against 4, I make a trump lead that doesn't blow a trick, for the first time in my life. Declarer wins in hand and immediately ruffs a club in dummy. Next he leads a spade to the king, which I win with the ace. Unduly optimistic, I lead another trump, which is won by dummy. Declarer now crosses to his A and ruffs a third club.


Dummy
QT76
--
MeJ86Partner
J9--43
T--
QDeclarerK97
KQ9S8 AT
HKQ8
DT2
CJ


Now declarer cashes the Q and leads a diamond from dummy. I am wondering where the K is, and in a perverse sense I hope it's with declarer. If partner has it, he may win this trick and splatter my Q. He has a negative inference that declarer didn't attempt a diamond finesse, which suggests that I'm the one with the Q. But is that analysis too difficult to arrive at?

In practice, of course it is. On the diamond lead from dummy, partner rises with the king, crushing my queen. With a furrowed brow, he cashes the A and I now attempt to stay calm, realizing that the contract can still be defeated. Bob Hamman once wrote a Bols bridge tip about not getting flustered after blowing a trick on defense, and focusing on finding a way to still beat the contract. So I silently concentrate on sending a telepathic vibe to get a diamond ruff, while simultaneously offering a prayer to Bob Hamman....

...And partner continues with a club. Declarer happily ruffs this, draws my trump, and claims. I keep my mouth shut. If I say anything to partner at this point, I'm not sure what decibel the words will come out in.