Bridge Hand Of The Week
Picking up the clues
Jul 03, 2017
Against your 3NT contract, West leads the 4 (fourth best). You win with the J and cash the A, on which East discards a heart. Take it from here.
After winning the first trick with his jack of spades, declarer cashed the A and was somewhat taken aback when East discarded a heart. After checking that East did indeed have a void in diamonds, declarer cashed the Q, followed by a club to the ace. When declarer cashed the K, He was not surprised when West threw a diamond.
Reflecting on the bidding and the opening lead, declarer placed West with five spades headed by the ace and king and an original 5=1=5=2 shape. So, declarer cashed the A before leading the 7. West cashed his four spade winners but then had to lead away from the J 10 8,which allowed declarer to take the last three tricks.
“Maybe I should have led the ace, king and another spade,” offered West. “However, that would have meant that I had no entry to the good spades.”
“It would not have mattered what you’d led,” declarer replied. “After three rounds of spades, I can test the diamonds and cash the top clubs ending in dummy.
Again you’d have been counted with 5=1=5=2 shape and East with an original 3=6=0=4 distribution. Then I would have endplayed East with a club and hoped he had the king and queen of hearts. As a low heart would have given me a second heart trick immediately, East could have done no better than to try a high heart, which I’d have allowed to win. After that, the
jack of hearts would have been my ninth trick.”