Bridge Hand Of The Week

Card reading

Jul 24, 2017
Dlr: North Vul: Both
13 13
A J 5 J 5 8 4 A K 8 5 4 2

K Q 10 9 4 Q 8 6 A 6 2 Q 6
West Pass All Pass
North12
EastPass Pass
South14

You are playing in a team game. West leads the 3. What is your plan for getting to 10 tricks?

Solution

The auction and opening lead were the same at both tables. Both declarers in the match assumed the lead to be a singleton. After winning the first trick with the Q, the first declarer decided to rely on trumps being 3-2. He played a spade to the ace and another to the king hin his hand, discovering to his chagrin that the trumps were 4-1. This declarer could do no better than draw trumps and cash out for nine tricks.

At the other table, the opposing declarer also won the first trick with the Q. At trick two, he cashed the K, but instead of playing a second trump at trick three, this declarer led the 6 from hand. West saw that it would not profit him to ruff, so he discarded a diamond and dummys K won the trick. East followed with the jack, indicating some values in hearts.

Declarer continued by ruffing a low club with a high trump, then played the 4 to dummys jack and discarded a low diamond on dummys A. West ruffed and, thanks to his partners play in the club suit, shifted to a heart. East won the trick with the ace and switched to the Q, hoping his partner held the ace. However, it was the declarer who had the A.

Declarer won then drew Wests remaining trump with dummys ace. All that remained was to throw a diamond and a heart on dummys two club winners; declarer had made five trumps, a diamond and four clubs for 10 tricks in all. The full deal:

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

K Q 10 9 4 Q 8 6 A 6 2 Q 6