Bridge Hand Of The Week

Look deeper

May 22, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: Both
8 18
K 10 2 10 6 5 2 7 6 3 K Q 2

A Q J 9 4 A 4 Q 5 A J 9 7
West Pass All Pass
North 2
East Pass

This deal came up in a teams match. West leads the top two diamonds and continues with the J. Its your move. How will you get to 10 tricks?


The auction was the same at both tables, and the defense also started the same way. The declarer for one team ruffed the third round of diamonds and cashed the ace of trumps. When East discarded a heart, declarer saw that he could still make his contract if West had begun with three clubs or more clubs and at least one heart. In that case, declarer could cash three clubs and the A, ruffing his remaining club in dummy for the 10th trick.

Alas, West ruffed the third club. As declarer still had to lose a heart trick, he finished with only nine tricks.

At the other table, declarer saw that the main danger to his contract was a 5-0 trump division. There was no way to avoid a heart loser, so he discarded the 4 on the J. Now the defense would prevail only if West could give East a club ruff, a much-less likely chance than a 5-0 trump break There was no chance of a heart ruff on the auction, for surely West would have overcalled with seven hearts as well as the diamond honors.

West shifted to the Q at trick four. Declarer won with his now-bare ace, drew trumps and claimed. The full deal:

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

A Q J 9 4 A 4 Q 5 A J 9 7