Bridge Hand Of The Week

It’s a scramble

Apr 10, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: Both
6 19
K 6 3 8 6 5 2 K 4 8 5 4 3

A Q 8 7 2 A 3 A 9 3 A J 2
West Dbl All Pass
North 2
East Pass
South14

Against your spade game, West leads the Q. What is your plan to get to 10 tricks?

Solution

Declarer counted seven winners with an eighth trick to come from a diamond ruff in dummy. Declarer could see that he would make 10 tricks if the trumps were 3-2, so he turned his attention to what could be done against a 4-1 break in the suit.

The only option then was to try to elope with his low trumps by ruffing hearts. Following that plan, declarer took the Q in hand with his ace, cashed the A and played another heart. East won the trick with the J and shifted to the 10. Declarer took that trick with the ace and played the Q and another spade to dummys king. Declarers preparations had put him in a strong position to deal with a 4-1 break in trumps.

After cashing the K, declarer ruffed a heart and was pleased to see that East followed. Next,declarer ruffed his remaining diamond in dummy and led dummys last heart. If East had ruffed this, declarer would have discarded a club and would later have taken two tricks with the A and 8, making his contract. At the table, East discarded a club and declarer ruffed the heart with his 8. The ace of trumps was his 10th trick.

Note that if West has begun with five hearts, it would have done no good for West to play a third heart himself. If East had ruffed in, declarer would have discarded a club and made the contract easily with five trumps, the A, two diamonds, a diamond ruff and the A (unless West had five diamonds, too). If East had discarded on the third round of hearts, declarer would have played more or less as already described, making sure to cash the A early. The full deal:

6 13 2 19
K 6 3 8 6 5 2 K 4 8 5 4 3
4 K Q 10 4 Q J 10 8 K Q 9 6
J 10 9 5 J 9 7 7 6 5 2 10 7

A Q 8 7 2 A 3 A 9 3 A J 2