Bridge Hand Of The Week
Feb 08, 2016
(2) Maximum with three hearts
You and partner are playing 12-14 1NT openers, so the 1♣ opening was required by the system. The 1NT rebid showed 15-17. West leads the ♦K. How will you get to 10 tricks on this deal?
This deal was played in the 2003 Venice Cup by Nevena Senior, playing for England.
West made the normal lead of the ♦K and the first necessary piece of care was to duck this trick.
Senior won the diamond continuation and played a heart to the jack, queen and king. Now North switched to a spade. If declarer ducks this trick, the auction suggests that she runs the risk of conceding a spade ruff.
Even if that danger does not materialize, West can win the spade and force dummy to ruff a diamond, after which there is no low heart in dummy to allow East's hearts to be picked up.
On that line, declarer must be careful. Having ruffed the diamond in dummy, she must not cash the ♥A before playing the three top clubs, pitching a spade should East discard.
Now a club ruff is followed by a heart to the ace and the lead is in dummy for the trump coup (East has the ♥9-4, South the ♥10-7). East can discard her remaining spade on the third club but that does not matter as declarer has established the fifth club for a second spade discard if need be.
There is, however, no need for declarer to risk a six-one spade split. Senior rose with the ♠A and played the top clubs, over-ruffing on the third round. Now she ruffed her diamond loser, cashed the ♥A and ruffed a club, leaving West with nothing but spades. She could draw the last trump and play a spade towards the queen at trick 12, South being obliged to give dummy the last trick. That was 10 tricks for plus 420.