Bridge Hand Of The Week

Choose your line

Mar 23, 2015
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
A 5 K J 9 4 6 A 10 9 6 5 2

K Q 8 7 6 3 A Q 10 8 5 4 2 --
West Pass Pass Pass All Pass
North 245
East Pass Pass Pass
South1246

Against your slam, West starts with the Q. You hope for a switch, but West disappoints you with a diamond continuation. How do you plan to come to 12 tricks?

Solution

Declarer saw that there would be no problem if both major suits divided favorably. If trumps were 4-0, he saw that he would need some luck: spades 3-2 or the hand with four trumps holding four spades. What could be done if the spades were 4-1 and the hand with the singleton had three trumps?

The only possible rescue plan was to try to set up dummy's clubs. After ruffing the diamond continuation, declarer cashed the A, pitching a spade, and ruffed a club high. After crossing to dummy via the 9, declarer ruffed another club high, both opponents following.

At that point, declarer knew clubs were 4-3 and trumps no worse than 3-1, so he returned to dummy with the A and ruffed a third club, establishing two winners in the suit. Next, declarer led a trump to dummy's jack, drew West's remaining trump with the king while throwing a spade from hand. The 10 provided a parking place for declarer's last low spade and he had made his contract.

Declarer was pleased to see that on the actual layout, 6 would have failed if he had attempted to set up his own hand. If declarer tried drawing two rounds of trumps and playing on spades, West would have ruffed in on the second round of the suit.

Of course, if clubs had not broken 4-3, declarer would have had to rely on a 3-2 split in the spade suit. The full deal:

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

K Q 8 7 6 3 A Q 10 8 5 4 2 --