Bridge Hand Of The Week

Variation on Last Week

By Tim Bourke, Dec 29, 2008
Dlr: East Vul: E-W
16 12
J 10 4 2 A 8 A 9 6 A K 3 2

A K Q 9 8 6 K 5 10 4 3 7 5
West Pass
North 6
East3All Pass
South3

This is a small variation on last week's problem so don't buttonhole the editor to tell him he printed last week's problem again.

How will you play 6 when West leads the Q when East discards a diamond on the second round of trumps and another on the second round of hearts?

Solution

Once again West's failure to lead a diamond indicates he has a void there. Further, as East is 1-1 in the majors, he must have begun with 1=1=7=4 distribution! So the full deal will be not too dissimilar to:

16 4 8 12
J 10 4 2 A 8 A 9 6 A K 3 2
7 5 Q J 10 9 6 4 3 2 J 10 8
3 7 K Q J 8752 Q 9 6 4

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

Although you still have only 11 top tricks but two seemingly unavoidable diamond losers, this time the idea is to put pressure on East by cashing five rounds of trumps.

So you win the heart lead with the king and draw trumps in two rounds. After cashing the A, you know East's exact shape. Next you play two more rounds of trumps, ending in hand. These cards remain to be played:

11 2 8 0
A 9 6 A K 3 2
J 10 9 6 J 10 8
K Q J Q 9 6 4

9 8 10 4 3 7 5

On the penultimate trump you throw the 6, and East is in trouble. If he throws a diamond, you will play ace and another diamond, setting up the 10 in hand which you get to it by ruffing a club. If instead East discards a club, you cash the two top clubs and ruff a club, establishing a club winner with the A - all you lose is a diamond at trick 13.