Bridge Hand Of The Week

Technique

Oct 30, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: Both
18 15
A K Q 8 K J 10 K 9 6 2 Q 3

9 5 3 2 A 8 7 4 A Q J A 2
West Pass
North 6NT
East All Pass
South1NT

West leads the 8. What should you be thinking about as you consider your line of play for 12 tricks?

Solution

After winning the opening lead with the J, declarer took stock and saw that if spades were 3-2, he would make 12 tricks by conceding a heart to the queen: He would make four spades, three hearts, four diamonds and one club. If spades were 4-1, though, he would need to make four heart tricks.

Good declarers have a simple rule for playing suit combinations when there are no pointers from the bidding or play: Tackle the suit in a way that doesnt waste pips. In this case, cashing the A would waste the 10, so declarer played a low heart to the 10 at trick two. When that held, he cashed the A and K, getting the bad news that the suit was 4-1. So he crossed back to hand with a diamond to the queen and led a second low heart to dummys jack.

When that also held, he cashed the K and returned to hand by playing the 9 to the ace, cashed the A, crossed to the table with a spade to the queen and cashed the K. Declarer took three spades, four hearts, four diamonds and one club. The full deal:

18 6 1 15
A K Q 8 K J 10 K 9 6 2 Q 3
10 Q 9 6 2 8 7 5 4 K J 8 6
J 7 6 4 5 3 10 3 10 9 7 5 4

9 5 3 2 A 8 7 4 A Q J A 2