Bridge Hand Of The Week

Countermeasure

Jan 26, 2015
Dlr: East Vul: E-W
A J 7 6 4 K Q J 9 Q J 10 3

Q 10 9 8 5 4 5 3 A 6 2 A 5
West 3
North 4
East1All Pass
South1

West leads the Q. East overtakes with the K and exits with the 3. East clearly has a plan. How will you foil it to come to 10 tricks?

Solution

Declarer was certain that the 3 was a singleton and that East was expecting to gain the lead with the king of trumps, his idea being to get to West via the J so that he could get a diamond ruff.

The bidding and play to date suggested that East had both black kings, otherwise East's opening would be on a 10-point hand. Declarer did not fancy playing a spade to the ace and another trump for that would rely on a 2-2 trump break and East beginning with a 2=5=1=5 shape. As it was far more likely that East began with only three or four clubs, declarer took the diamond shift in dummy and ran the Q. He continued by playing a club to the ace, then returned to dummy's ace of trumps to lead the J. When East covered this with the king, declarer discarded his remaining heart.

This loser-on-loser maneuver removed the possibility of a diamond ruff by killing the entry to West's hand.

Seeing no future in hearts, East continued by playing a fourth round of clubs. Declarer ruffed high then forced out the king of trumps. All he lost was one trump, one heart and one club.

The full deal:

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

Q 10 9 8 5 4 5 3 A 6 2 A 5