Bridge Hand Of The Week

Plan ahead

Jan 23, 2017
Dlr: West Vul: None
15 11
K Q 9 6 8 5 A J 2 K Q 7 4

J 10 7 5 4 K 2 K 6 A 10 9 3
West3All Pass
NorthDbl
EastPass
South4

West leads the 2, an obvious singleton. You win in hand with the 9. Now what?

Solution

At trick two, declarer turned his thoughts to what could be done if the A were on his left and the A on his right a highly likely scenario. Unless West had a singleton trump, declarer saw that he would have to make an extra trick in one of the red suits.

A successful diamond finesse would provide the extra trick, but it was rejected as the main plan because East was more likely than West to hold the Q. It was at this point that it struck declarer that the diamond finesse was an illusion: All he had to do was eliminate the diamonds! If West started with the doubleton queen, South could shift his attention to trumps.

Accordingly, declarer cashed the K and played a diamond to the ace. The queen had not appeared, so declarer ruffed the J high. Once West followed, his likely shape became 2=7=3=1.

Declarer continued with a low trump to the king and ace. East led a club back and West ruffed. Alas for the defense, West had only hearts remaining, so declarer made a trick with the K.

Note that if East had shifted to the Q at trick six, declarer would have covered and dummys 8 would have prevented East from regaining the lead. The full deal:

15 5 9 11
K Q 9 6 8 5 A J 2 K Q 7 4
8 3 A J 10 9 7 4 3 9 7 3 2
A 2 Q 6 Q 10 8 5 4 J 8 6 5

J 10 7 5 4 K 2 K 6 A 10 9 3