Bridge Hand Of The Week

Managing assets

Oct 27, 2014
Dlr: South Vul: Both
J 10 5 K 4 A K 6 4 3 J 9 4

A K Q A 6 10 7 2 Q 10 7 6 3
West Pass
North 3NT
East All Pass
South1NT

West leads the J against 3NT. You can count seven top tricks. How will you get to nine?

Solution

After assessing the situation, declarer turned his attention to the matter of finding tricks eight and nine. Clearly, the answer was not in playing on clubs. On most layouts, the defenders would have little trouble in taking at least three hearts as well as the A and K. Declarer therefore focused on making four diamond tricks.

That task would have been routine if the missing diamonds were divided 3-2, so declarer looked to see if he could overcome some of the 4-1 breaks. Upon reflection, he saw that if diamonds broke 4-1, West must hold the four and East a singleton 8 or 9.

The K was the only side entry to dummy, so declarer took the first trick in hand with the ace. He then led the 10. When West covered with the jack, declarer took it with dummy's king and played the 3 to his 7, East following first with the 8 then showing out.

West had no answer: If he took the trick, declarer would be able to finesse the 6 on the next round of the suit. If West played low, declarer would continue with a diamond to the ace and another diamond to set up a long diamond, with the K as the entry to cash it. Of course, if West had not covered the 10, declarer would have played low from the dummy and won the trick. Then, the A, K and another diamond would have set up a long diamond, again with the K as the entry. The full deal:

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

A K Q A 6 10 7 2 Q 10 7 6 3