Bridge Hand Of The Week

Time for thought

Apr 17, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: Both
8 20
8 5 4 4 2 K J 6 K J 10 7 4

Q J 9 A K 9 3 A Q 3 A 8 2
West Pass
North 3NT
East All Pass

West leads the Q. What is your plan for taking nine tricks?


At the table, declarer took the first trick with the K. His next move was to cash the A. At that point, the contract could no longer be made. Dummy was unsympathetic when declarer complained about his bad luck in running into an offside 5-0 club break.

Bad luck had nothing to do with the outcome, said North. True, you have an uncommon safety play, but all you had to do was form a plan before playing to the second trick. You had seven top tricks and you had to develop the two extra tricks in clubs. That would have been an easy task if West had started with at least one club, so you should have focused on how to survive if West was void in the suit. A little thought would have shown that the way to do that was to lead the 2 at trick two, intending to play the 10 unless West played the queen.

North continued, On the given layout, East would have taken the 10 with the queen and returned a heart to your ace. After playing the Q to dummys king, you would then have played dummys 4 to your 8. After cashing the A, you would then have returned to dummy with the J to cash the K and J.

On this suggested approach you would have made at least nine tricks no matter how the cards had lain: two hearts, three diamonds and four clubs. The full deal:

8 6 6 20
8 5 4 4 2 K J 6 K J 10 7 4
K 7 6 3 Q J 10 8 10 8 7 4 2
A 10 2 7 6 5 9 5 Q 9 6 5 3

Q J 9 A K 9 3 A Q 3 A 8 2