Bridge Hand Of The Week

Risk reduction

Apr 16, 2018
Dlr: South Vul: Both
7 21
J 10 8 A J 10 J 10 5 4 8 5 2

A K Q 9 4 3 Q 6 A K K 7 3
West Pass All pa
North 2ss
East Pass

Against your 4 contract, West leads the 9. How do you plan to get to 10 tricks?


Declarer counted nine top tricks, with many possibilities for a 10th. Rather than playing low from dummy and risking East winning the trick with K and shifting to a club, declarer embarked on a plan that would yield 10 tricks as long as trumps were no worse than 3-1 and diamonds 4-3.

At trick one, declarer rose with the ace of hearts and cashed the A and K. Next he crossed to dummy with a low trump and led the J. After East followed with a low card, declarer threw Q the queen of hearts from hand.

West won the trick with the Q and exited with the 9 to prevent the 10 from scoring a trick. East ruffed and declarer overruffed with the A. After crossing to dummy with another low trump, declarer led the J. East covered with the king and declarer ruffed with the K. Declarer returned to dummy yet again in trumps. The 10 was cashed for a club discard and a club was led to the king in an attempt at an overtrick, but this hope was dashed when West produced the ace.

No matter: Declarer had taken 10 tricks: six trumps, two hearts and two diamonds.

Had East followed with a low heart when the J hearts was led from dummy, declarer would have discarded a low club from hand. Even if West had had the K, declarer would have had ten tricks: All he would have lost would have been a heart, a diamond and a club. The full deal:

7 8 4 21
J 10 8 A J 10 J 10 5 4 8 5 2
5 9 8 7 3 2 Q 9 8 2 A Q 4
7 6 2 K 5 4 7 6 3 J 10 9 6

A K Q 9 4 3 Q 6 A K K 7 3