Bridge Hand Of The Week

Disappearing loser

Dec 30, 2013
Dlr: North Vul: None
4 19
J 10 9 3 K 10 7 5 9 8 3 2 7

A 4 2 A 9 2 A K J Q J 10 2
West 3Dbl Pass Dbl
NorthPass Pass 4Redbl All Pass
East2(1)Pass Dbl Pass
SouthDbl 3NT Pass 4

(1) Natural, 11-16 high-card points (Precision).

Against your doubled contract, West leads the A and continues with the 9. What is your plan for taking 10 tricks?

Solution

This deal was played by Marv Dauer of Los Angeles many years ago in the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs. He ruffed the club at trick two and assessed his chances. They did not seem good. He appeared to have a loser in each suit. Dauer pressed on, however.

He played dummy's J, covered by the queen and ace. He played another spade, taken by East with the king. On the low diamond exit, Dauer inserted the jack, which held. He ruffed another club in dummy, then cashed the top diamonds. West remained with the last trump.

Dauer then led two more spades, leaving West with no good option. If he ruffed in on the fourth round of spades, he would have to play a heart, allowing declarer to manage the suit without losing a trick.

If West held onto his trump, Dauer would be home with three diamond tricks in hand, two club ruffs in dummy, three spades and two hearts. Either way, Dauer had his contract and all the matchpoints. The full deal:

4 6 11 19
J 10 9 3 K 10 7 5 9 8 3 2 7
7 6 5 Q 6 4 3 10 7 6 5 A 9
K Q 8 J 8 Q 4 K 8 6 5 4 3

A 4 2 A 9 2 A K J Q J 10 2