Bridge Hand Of The Week
Timing is everything
Feb 23, 2015
Against your spade game, West leads the ♠3, suggesting that he might have held a doubleton in the suit. You win East's ♠9 with the ace. How do you proceed from there to get to 10 tricks?
After winning the opening lead, declarer played without much thought, crossing to dummy with the ♣K to run the ♦Q. West won this with the king and exited with his remaining trump. Declarer took East's jack with his king and cashed two diamond winners, discarding a club from dummy.
Next, he cashed the ♣A and ruffed a club. All would have been well if clubs had proved to be 3-3, but they were not. After East had discarded a diamond, declarer could do no better than to play the ♥A and another heart. East took the trick with the ♥10 and cashed the ♠Q, leaving declarer with a losing club as the fourth defensive trick.
When South complained about his bad luck, North was unsympathetic.
"You should have played a low heart to the jack at trick two," he said. "East would have won to play a second trump to your ace. Next, you'd cross to dummy with the ♣K to run the ♦Q to West's king. Having no more trumps, West could have done no better than to exit with a heart to dummy's ace.
"You would continue with the ♦A and ♦J, discarding a club from dummy. Then you'd play the ♣A and ruff a club in the dummy, on which East would discard a diamond as there would be no advantage in overruffing with the master trump. Then you would get back to hand by cashing the ♥A and ruffing a heart. Lastly, you could ruff your fourth club in the dummy. You would lose only a trump, a heart and a diamond." The full deal: