Bridge Hand Of The Week

Change of plans

Jan 30, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
18 16
K Q A 9 K 8 6 4 3 A Q 9 2

A 8 2 K Q 7 A Q 10 J 6 5 3
West Pass
North 6NT
East All Pass
South1NT

Against your 6NT contract, West starts with the J. You play a diamond to the ace and cash the Q. West follows twice but East discards on the second round of the suit. How will you get to 12 tricks?

Solution

Once East discarded on the second diamond, declarer had to change tack. He saw that he could still make the contract if he could take three tricks in clubs. This would always be possible if clubs were 3-2. The same would be true if West had four clubs. If South played the suit correctly, he could finesse the 9 if required.

The problem case, therefore, was when East had four clubs to the king. Declarer found a neat solution to that eventuality.

At trick four, he played a club to the ace and a followed this with low club back towards the jack. East was caught. If he rose with the king, declarer would make three club tricks and his contract. After East followed with a low card, declarers jack won the trick. Declarer now played a diamond to the king and another diamond, setting up a long diamond for his 12th trick.

Note that playing the clubs as above also allows declarer to discover that West had at least four clubs in a way that guarantees three tricks in the suit. The full deal:

18 3 3 16
K Q A 9 K 8 6 4 3 A Q 9 2
J 10 9 4 J 8 5 3 J 9 7 2 4
7 6 5 3 10 6 4 2 5 K 10 8 7

A 8 2 K Q 7 A Q 10 J 6 5 3