Bridge Hand Of The Week

Look before you leap

Jun 05, 2017
Dlr: West Vul: Both
15 12
A 4 K J 4 3 A Q 4 J 10 9 5

Q 9 8 3 Q 10 7 K 9 2 K Q 3
West1Pass
NorthDbl 3NT
EastPass All Pass
South2NT

Against your notrump game, West leads a fourth-best 6. What is your plan for taking nine tricks?

Solution

After the opening lead, declarer paused to make a plan. Although there were only four top tricks, declarer saw that he could develop extra tricks in hearts and clubs. The danger was that West might be able establish his spades before declarer had knocked out both of the aces in Wests hand. Declarer knew West held two aces because the North-South hands held a combined 27 high-card points. If East held an ace, West would have held only 9 high-card points, hardly enough for an opening bid.

Accordingly, declarer took the first trick with dummys A and led a low heart to his 10 and Wests ace. West exited with the 5 and East produced the 10. Declarer followed through on his plan by allowing East to hold this trick.

At that point, the defense was finished. The best that West could do was to take his A and K. Declarer would have always made at least nine tricks. The full deal:

15 13 0 12
A 4 K J 4 3 A Q 4 J 10 9 5
K J 7 6 5 A 8 J 10 6 3 A 7
10 2 9 6 5 2 8 7 5 8 6 4 2

Q 9 8 3 Q 10 7 K 9 2 K Q 3