Bridge Hand Of The Week

Proper planning

Jun 19, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
7 16
10 8 6 9 6 4 2 Q J 5 3 A 3

A K 7 4 3 Q A K 10 8 4 9 4
West Pass All Pass
North 2
East Pass
South14

This looks like a normal contract, and the sight of dummys diamond suit is welcome. What is your plan for getting to 10 tricks after West starts with the K?

Solution

Declarer saw no reason not to win the A at trick one, after which he gave some thought to his line of play. He saw that if trumps were 3-2, 10 tricks would be easy, so he turned his mind to what could be done if trumps were 4-1. If West had four trumps, declarer would need East to have a singleton queen or jack: after cashing the A, he would lead a low trump towards dummys 10.

If East had four trumps, declarer saw that he could pick up the suit for one loser only if West had a singleton 9, jack or queen. When one of those cards fell under the ace, declarer could continue with a low trump to dummys 10. After East took this with an honor, declarer could finesse for Easts remaining high card.

Declarer saw one further danger: Easts holding four trumps and a singleton diamond. East could win the second round of trumps and return his only diamond. Declarer would then need to use trumps as transport, for otherwise East could organize a diamond ruff. Accordingly, declarer called for the 8 of trumps from dummy at trick two. When Wests 9 fell under declarers ace, he continued with a low trump to dummys 10 and Easts jack.

East continued with the A and K. Declarer ruffed the second heart, crossed to dummy with a diamond to the queen and led the 6 to the 7, drew trumps and claimed. The full deal:

7 6 11 16
10 8 6 9 6 4 2 Q J 5 3 A 3
9 10 8 7 3 9 7 6 K Q J 10 7
Q J 5 2 A K J 5 2 8 6 5 2

A K 7 4 3 Q A K 10 8 4 9 4