Bridge Hand Of The Week

Suit yourself

Nov 06, 2017
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
10 16
9 6 4 2 K 9 A 7 6 4 K 9 4

A K 5 A 10 5 4 2 K 5 2 Q 7
West Pass Pass
North 23NT
East Pass All Pass
South1NT 2

No doubt influenced by the knowledge that North had four spades, West leads a fourth-highest 3 to Easts jack. How do you plan to get to nine tricks?

Solution

Declarer counted six top winners and saw that he could develop a club trick, bringing the total to seven tricks. He realized that the main chance of developing the two extra, game-going, tricks in time was to play hearts for four tricks.

If the hearts were 3-3, any sensible play would have brought in a total of four tricks. Declarer saw, however, that if he played the K, followed by the 9, he would be wasting the 9 whenever West had a doubleton honor or four hearts to the queen-jack. If East had a doubleton honor with a low spot, no play would have gained the extra tricks in hearts.

So, as he did not want a club shift, declarer took the first trick with his K and led a low heart to the 8, 9 and queen. East exited with the 9. After West overtook this with the 10, declarer won the trick with dummys ace and cashed the K. When West followed with the J, the contract was safe. Declarer continued by leading a club to his queen and Wests ace. West could cash two diamond winners but declarer had nine tricks: two spades, four hearts, two diamonds and one club. The full deal:

10 9 5 16
9 6 4 2 K 9 A 7 6 4 K 9 4
Q 10 7 3 J 8 Q 10 8 3 A 10 3
J 8 Q 7 6 3 J 9 J 8 6 5 2

A K 5 A 10 5 4 2 K 5 2 Q 7