Bridge Hand Of The Week

Watch those spots

May 07, 2018
Dlr: North Vul: Both
15 15
A 8 7 2 A 5 3 A K 7 5 7 4

K Q J 4 3 7 10 8 3 2 A K Q
West Pass Pass All Pass
North1NT 45(2)
East3Pass Pass
South34NT (1) 6

West leads the 4 against your spade slam. Plan the play.


When dummy came down, declarer was delighted: 12 tricks would always be there if the diamonds could be played for three tricks. After taking the opening lead with dummys A, declarer cashed the top three spades in his hand, East showing out. East played hearts to the first four tricks.

Declarer then played the three top clubs, throwing a diamond from dummy. Easts heart discard was a small problem, suggesting that diamonds might not break 3-2. A diamond was led towards the dummy in case West was void in the suit. After both defenders followed with low diamonds under the king, declarer could count East as having started with either 0=7=4=2 or 0=8=3=2.

Declarer cashed the A, reducing everyone to four cards.

On the basis that Wests 4 was a singleton or from 4-2 doubleton, the only unknown was the location of the 2. If East had kept two hearts higher than the 2, he could have at most two diamonds remaining: if that were the case, declarer planned to continue with the A and another diamond, establishing the 10 as the 12th trick with the 4 as the entry to cash it.

If East had kept the equivalent of a singleton K or the K 2, declarer had a strategy in mind to cope: He would lead the 3 from dummy and discard a diamond from hand. As a result, either the 3 would win or the 5 would be established as a winner for a second diamond discard. So, no matter what East chose to do in such an ending, declarer would have made five trumps, two hearts, two diamonds and three clubs for a total of 12 tricks. The full deal:

15 0 10 15
A 8 7 2 A 5 3 A K 7 5 7 4
10 9 6 5 4 2 4 10 9 6 5 3 2
K Q J 10 9 8 6 Q J 9 6 J 8

K Q J 4 3 7 10 8 3 2 A K Q