Bridge Hand Of The Week

Think it over

Aug 28, 2017
Dlr: North Vul: None
17 14
A 7 4 2 A 8 A Q J 10 7 Q 5

K Q 9 6 J 6 K 6 4 A J 10 4
West Pass Pass Pass All Pass
North144NT 5
East3Pass Pass Pass
SouthDbl 456

Your partners bidding was a bit aggressive, but you should have chances for 12 tricks on this deal. West starts with the 9, which you win with dummys ace. Whats your plan?

Solution

Wests lead was consistent with a doubleton. After winning the lead with the A, declarer cashed the king and queen of trumps, East discarding a heart on the second round of spades. The 4-1 break was an irritation and declarer paused to consider his options. Clearly, he could make the contract if East had the K by taking two finesses in the suit.

However, declarer felt that the chance that East began with the K was less likely after his 3 overcall. Instead, declarer decided to test the diamonds, playing the king and ace. This was almost risk-free because West would have had a singleton diamond only about one time in 20.

When it was East who discarded on the second diamond, the reward for playing on diamonds became clear. Declarer cashed the Q and J, throwing the J from hand. Declarer then ruffed dummys 8 and played his remaining trump to dummys ace.

Declarer called for the 10, which held, he and West throwing low clubs. This delaying tactic by West was to no avail, however, because declarer endplayed West by leading dummys last trump, throwing another club from hand. With only clubs left, West had to play one and declarer made his contract with the Q and A. All he lost was a trump trick. The full deal:

17 4 5 14
A 7 4 2 A 8 A Q J 10 7 Q 5
J 10 8 5 9 3 9 8 3 2 K 9 2
3 K Q 10 7 5 4 2 5 8 7 6 3

K Q 9 6 J 6 K 6 4 A J 10 4