Bridge Hand Of The Week

Proper order

Aug 07, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: Both
6 20
J 5 4 10 5 K 8 6 4 Q 10 7 4

A Q A 7 3 2 A Q 2 K J 9 3
West Pass
North 3NT
East All Pass
South2NT

West leads the K against your notrump game. East plays the 8 and you play low. West continues with a second high heart, East following with the 6. What is your plan for getting to nine tricks?

Solution

Declarer took the third heart, discarding a club from dummy as East parted with a low spade. Declarer played a club to dummys queen and Easts ace. East switched to a low spade. After some thought, declarer finessed and finished down two, losing four hearts along with a spade and a club.

That was unlucky. Taking the spade finesse was the right play, moaned declarer. The finesse had a better chance of working than diamonds being 3-3.

Luck had nothing to do with it, dummy replied. As you noted, there was no chance of making the contract if West had begun the A. So, as you did, you should assume East had the A and maximize your chances of making a ninth trick accordingly.

The proper order of play is to win the third heart with the ace then cash three diamonds. When both defenders follow, you have nine tricks.

If the diamonds had proved to be 4-2 then you would have known for certain that you would have to risk the spade finesse to make the contract after East takes his A.

The full deal:

6 9 5 20
J 5 4 10 5 K 8 6 4 Q 10 7 4
K 9 7 K Q J 9 4 10 5 3 8 6
10 8 6 3 2 8 6 J 9 7 A 5 2

A Q A 7 3 2 A Q 2 K J 9 3