Bridge Hand Of The Week

Winning the race

Mar 02, 2015
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
A K 5 Q J 8 6 3 2 Q J 7 Q

Q J 9 4 3 10 A 4 3 A 10 6 5
West Pass Pass
North 24
East Pass All Pass

West leads a trump, which runs to your 9. What is your plan for getting to 10 tricks?


Declarer saw that ruffing clubs would not be successful after the trump lead and that it would be better to try to set up the heart suit. When declarer played the 10, West took it with the ace and exited with a second trump to dummy's king. Next, declarer ran the Q, discarding a club from hand. While this gave up a trick, declarer was now in control in the race to set up and enjoy winners in hearts.

After some thought, West exited with a low club. East covered dummy's Q with the king, taken by declarer with the ace. Declarer saw that he needed two more entries to dummy: one to establish the hearts if they were 4-2, and the other to reach any heart winners. He achieved this by leading a low diamond to dummy's queen, which left East with no winning option.

If East let the Q hold, declarer would ruff a low heart high and return to dummy with a trump to run the hearts. East took the trick with K and exited with a club. Declarer ruffed this in dummy, ruffed a low heart with the J and drew East's last trump with his queen. Declarer returned to dummy with the J to throw his remaining club on the J. Declarer made five trumps, one heart, two diamonds, one club and one club ruff for 10 tricks. The full deal:

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

Q J 9 4 3 10 A 4 3 A 10 6 5