Bridge Hand Of The Week

Think it over

Sep 25, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
13 17
K J A 8 6 3 9 2 A J 8 6 4

A 8 6 5 3 2 K Q J 10 A K 7
West Pass Pass Pass All Pass
North 245(1)
East Pass Pass Pass
South124NT 6

(1) 0 or 3 key cards

West starts with the Q against your slam. Can you see a way to 12 tricks? Do you have a contingency play in case trumps break badly?


Declarer counted nine top tricks and saw that if spades were 3-2 and trumps no worse than 4-1, he could set up the spade suit with one ruff and make all 13 tricks. After winning the first trick with the A, declarer cashed the king and queen of trumps, discovering a 4-1 break in the suit (East having the singleton). That was but a minor distraction, however, as declarers attention switched to establishing the spade suit.

At trick four, declarer played a low spade to dummys king and continued with the jack of spades. When East covered the J with the queen, declarer was about to play the ace when he asked himself the question, What happens if I play the ace and West ruffs?

Declarers conclusion was that if the A was ruffed, a trump continuation would leave him one trick short. Accordingly, declarer played a low spade under the queen and was rewarded when West discarded a low club.

East exited with the K to dummys ace. Declarer crossed to his hand with the K and ruffed a low spade with dummys ace of trumps.

After playing dummys 8 to his ten, declarer drew Wests remaining trump with his jack. Allthat remained was to cash the ace of spades and claim balance with the two established spades. The full deal:

13 3 7 17
K J A 8 6 3 9 2 A J 8 6 4
4 9 7 4 2 Q J 10 6 5 9 3 2
Q 10 9 7 5 8 7 4 3 K Q 10 5

A 8 6 5 3 2 K Q J 10 A K 7