Bridge Hand Of The Week

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Aug 13, 2018
Dlr: South Vul: E-W
19 12
9 6 4 3 A K 8 7 5 A K K Q

K Q J 10 2 J 6 J 5 4 A 7 3
West Pass Pass Pass
North 24NT 6
East Pass Pass All Pass

Against your spade slam, West leads the 10. Do you see any dangers? What is your plan for taking 12 tricks?


On Wests lead of the 10, declarer foresaw no traps in the play. He took the first trick with the A and led a trump to Easts 5 and his 10.

Declarer next led a diamond to the king and a second trump to Easts 7 and his jack. After ruffing the J with dummys 9, declarer advanced dummys last trump. East stepped up with the A and returned a club. Declarer had to win in dummy and try to get back to hand by ruffing a heart. The A stood up but the king did not: East ruffed it and the contract was down one.

A 5-1 heart break! Now that was really unlucky,offered declarer somewhat mournfully.

As ever, dummy was unmoved. Luck had nothing to do with the outcome, he rebutted. The only danger to the contract was bad breaks in the major suits and you should have acted accordingly. At trick two, you cash the K and play a trump. When the 4-0 break comes to light, you ruff your diamond loser in dummy with the 9 and cash the K and Q, followed by the A. Only then do you play a second trump. East would have let you win the trick but, when he wins the next trump, he has no heart to play. No matter which suit he returns, you would win the trick in hand, draw the outstanding trump and claim the last two tricks with the A and the K.

If, by chance, East had had a second heart, his lead of that card would have put you safely in dummy, whereupon a heart ruff would have allowed you to pull his last trump. In that way, you would have needed only for East to follow to one heart and two clubs.

The full deal:

19 2 7 12
9 6 4 3 A K 8 7 5 A K K Q
Q 10 9 3 2 10 9 8 2 8 5 4 2
A 8 7 5 4 Q 7 6 3 J 10 9 6

K Q J 10 2 J 6 J 5 4 A 7 3