Bridge Hand Of The Week

Don’t give up

May 15, 2017
Dlr: East Vul: N-S
16 4
K Q 10 9 K Q 9 8 4 2 A Q 2

J 8 7 4 2 K 8 7 5 4 10 8 6
West 2Pass
North Dbl 4
East1Pass All Pass
SouthPass 2

Norths raise to game was an overbid,but the final contract does have only three top losers. East wins the opening lead of the Q with the ace and continues with the A and another spade. What is your plan for taking 10 tricks?

Solution

On the second round of spades, West discarded a low club. Declarer noted that West had already indicated 3 high-card points in diamonds with his opening lead. Also, if the contract was to have any chance, declarer needed West to have the K. If this were the case, East would require the A to have an opening bid.

If all this came about, declarer saw that playing a heart to the king (the normal play) would succeed only if J and 10 fell in three rounds, a rather unlikely possibility.

Declarer therefore adopted a different approach to developing the heart suit. After winning the second round of trumps in hand with the jack, declarer led a heart towards dummy and finessed the 8. Declarer hoped that West held three hearts to the jack or three hearts to the 10 or for East to hold exactly A J 10.

East won the first heart trick with the jack and played another trump to dummys queen. Declarer continued with the K, covered by East with the ace. Declarer ruffed with his last trump and played the K, throwing the 2. Declarer then took the club finesse. When that was successful, declarer drew Easts remaining trump and cashed the Q. His careful play was rewarded when West followed with the 10. South took the two remaining tricks with the 9 and 4. Declarers 10 tricks came from three trumps, a heart ruff, three hearts, one diamond and two clubs.

The full deal:

16 6 14 4
K Q 10 9 K Q 9 8 4 2 A Q 2
2 10 6 3 Q J 10 3 K 9 5 4 3
A 6 5 3 A J 7 5 A 9 6 J 7

J 8 7 4 2 K 8 7 5 4 10 8 6