I transferred, but I declared!
This deal was played by Chris Willenken in the 2019 Southeastern Regional Knockout Teams. He used a Texas transfer, but ended up being declarer, and did quite a great job of it! With both sides vulnerable, he held:
♠K 10 9 8 6 4 ♥8 6 3 ♦8 ♣10 4 3
His partner opened 2NT. I agree with Chris’s decision to insist on game – the good six-card suit combined with being vulnerable at IMPs make it the educated guess. He transferred, using 4♥ to ask partner to bid 4♠, but wound up declaring. How is that? His lefthand opponent made a lead-directing double, which was passed back to him. He now bid 4♠, and played it there. West led the ♣7.
Declarer won the ♣A (RHO followed with the 2) and played the ♥K. LHO won the ♥A and returned a heart, RHO playing high–low. From the lead-directing double and play, it looked like hearts were 6–2, so he decided he wouldn’t be able to ruff his losing heart in dummy. Even if he wanted to ruff a heart in dummy, the only way to reach his hand was to play ♦A and a diamond ruff. But that would give up the ability to finesse the ♦Q.
He laid down the ♠A: low, low, queen. He followed restricted choice and led a spade to his 10, LHO throwing a heart. Next came a winning diamond finesse, followed by the ♦A to pitch a losing club. Then came a diamond ruff to leave this unusual position:
Declarer has to lose a heart and club, but a trump trick? He exited with a losing heart (a club also works). LHO had to win and play a red suit. Declarer ruffed, then exited with his losing club to take the last two tricks. Brilliant!
This was the Real Deal: