Bridge Hand Of The Week

A better plan

Dec 15, 2014
Dlr: South Vul: Both
K 7 7 5 3 A K 7 6 Q J 7 5

A J 3 A Q 9 4 2 Q J A K 8
West Pass
North 6NT
East All Pass

West leads the 10. How will you take 12 tricks?


After West's lead of the 10, declarer counted 11 sure winners and began to consider his options for making an extra trick. Clearly, a successful finesse in either major suit would do the job, but declarer took time to consider whether there was a better plan.

Declarer noted that the heart suit had promise, so he proceeded to show that he would make 12 tricks if he could extract all of West's minor-suit cards.

Declarer took the diamond lead in hand with the queen and cashed the J. Next he played the A, K and a club to dummy's queen, pleased to see that the suit was 3-3. When both defenders followed to the K, declarer permitted himself a small smile as he continued with the A throwing a second low heart from hand.

Now declarer led a low heart from table with the intention of covering East's card. When East put up the 10, declarer played the queen. West won the trick with his king, but he had only major-suit cards remaining - and no winning option. If he chose a spade, declarer would make three spade tricks. When West exited with the 6, hoping his partner had the 9, declarer produced that card and claimed the slam. The full deal:

K 7 7 5 3 A K 7 6 Q J 7 5
Q 10 5 K J 6 10 9 8 4 9 4 2
9 8 6 4 2 10 8 5 3 2 10 6 3

A J 3 A Q 9 4 2 Q J A K 8