Bridge Hand Of The Week
Oct 24, 2016
Declarer counted seven sure winners, so he needed to develop two extra tricks from spades or diamonds. Declarer saw that it was possible to improve his chances of doing that by tackling the suits in the correct order. If the diamonds broke 3-2, he would always have at least nine tricks.
Declarer then considered what he could do about a 4-1 diamond break. If East had four diamonds, declarer would need five spade tricks. However, if West had four diamonds, declarer could succeed as long as East had a singleton honor in the suit.
Accordingly, declarer cashed the ♦A at trick two. When the queen appeared from East, declarer saw that if he followed with the ♦4, West would be in control because the suit would be blocked, so he followed with the ♦8 and continued with a low diamond to his 9.
West was fixed: if he took the trick with the ♦J, declarer would finesse dummy’s ♦7 later in the play, giving declarer four diamond tricks. In practice, West let the ♦9 hold the trick. Declarer countered by switching his attention to spades, playing a low spade from hand. Declarer finished with four spades, three diamonds and two hearts for his contract. The full deal: