Bridge Hand Of The Week

Knockout punch

Aug 14, 2017
Dlr: North Vul: N-S
14 9
A 2 K 4 A Q J 10 9 6 3 10 5

K 7 6 3 Q J 8 6 5 2 Q J 6
West Pass All Pass
North13
EastPass Pass
South13NT

West leads the J against your vulnerable game. How do you like your chances in 3NT? What is your game plan?

Solution

After the opening lead was made, declarer paused to make a plan. Clearly, if the diamond finesse failed, so would the contract. Thus, declarer won the first trick in hand with his king and took the winning diamond finesse.

Declarer was about to play the A when he saw that if he did so he would make his contract only if West started with a doubleton K. The problem was that he would have only eight tricks if West had started with three diamonds. The other issue was that he had no fast entry back to hand. The only hope was to give the defender with the A an insoluble problem.

At trick three, declarer called for dummys K. This put West in a quandary: If he took the trick with his ace, declarer would be able to re-enter his hand with a heart to repeat the diamond finesse. With that in mind, West allowed the K to hold, giving declarer his ninth trick. All that remained was for declarer to play the A, followed by the Q.

After winning the K, West did the best he could by shifting to a low club. The defenders took the top two clubs and the A, but declarer had the rest. The full deal:

14 11 6 9
A 2 K 4 A Q J 10 9 6 3 10 5
J 10 5 A 10 9 3 K 8 4 K 8 2
Q 9 8 4 7 5 2 7 A 9 7 4 3

K 7 6 3 Q J 8 6 5 2 Q J 6