Bridge Hand Of The Week

Proper timing

Sep 11, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
8 14
J 8 5 2 6 3 A 10 6 2 K 8 3

A K 9 6 4 A K 10 8 5 9 7 5
West Pass All Pass
North 3
East Pass
South14

West leads the K. On a 2-2 trump break, you have an easy 10 tricks. What if trumps are 3-1?

Solution

Declarer saw that if trumps were 2-2, 10 tricks would be routine: five trumps, two heart ruffs and the A. Similarly, he would make 10 tricks if he had a trump loser but the A was onside. Declarer therefore turned his attention to what he could do if he had to lose a trump trick and the A was offside.

After a little thought, he concluded he would have to make his own low trumps separately. After winning the first trick with the A, declarer ruffed a diamond then cashed the ace and king of trumps, discovering that West had a trump trick.

Continuing with his plan to make as many low trumps as possible, declarer took the A and K and led the 8. West did not ruff with the Q because declarer would throw a club from dummy and later ruff a club. Instead, West discarded a low diamond. Declarer ruffed the heart in dummy and ruffed a second diamond in hand.

When declarer led the 10, West discarded a low club because pitching his last diamond, the queen, would make dummys 10 a winner.

Declarer ruffed the heart in dummy then ruffed dummys last diamond to make his contract.

Notice that, on the above layout, declarer would not have made his contract if he had failed to ruff a diamond at trick two. The full deal:

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

A K 9 6 4 A K 10 8 5 9 7 5