Bridge Hand Of The Week

Simple but sweet

Nov 17, 2014
Dlr: South Vul: Both
K J 2 K 4 K 6 2 K J 6 4 3

A Q 10 8 6 4 A 3 A 9 7 5 3 ---
West Pass Pass All Pass
North 24
East Pass Pass
South126

You could have conducted a more scientific auction, but the final contract is a good one. West leads the Q, which you win with the ace. You have 10 tricks on top and must look for extra tricks in the diamond suit. What is your plan?

Solution

If the opponents' diamonds divided 3-2 or if trumps were 2-2 and diamonds no worse than 4-1, declarer saw that he would have 12 easy tricks. Declarer's first move was to cash the ace and king of trumps, finding that West had started with three trumps.

Now all that remained was to establish the diamonds. West held the missing trump, so declarer began by playing a diamond to his ace and leading a low diamond toward the king.

West, now out of diamonds, had to think about his play. West eventually decided to ruff and play a second heart to dummy's now-bare king.

Declarer cashed the K, ruffed a club to hand and then ruffed the fourth round of diamonds with dummy's jack of trumps. The latter was his 11th trick and the established diamond in hand was his 12th.

If West had chosen to discard on the second diamond, dummy's K would have won the trick. After that, declarer would have played a third round of diamonds to East. The best East could have done would have been to play a heart, after which a club ruff, a diamond ruff and a second club ruffed high would see declarer back in hand. Then, after drawing the last trump, declarer would have claimed as his hand would have contained only winners. The full deal:

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

A Q 10 8 6 4 A 3 A 9 7 5 3 --