Bridge Hand Of The Week

An extra chance

Oct 01, 2018
Dlr: North Vul: E-W
18 7
A Q J 9 K Q K Q 4 J 8 5 4

K 10 8 6 4 9 3 2 7 6 2 A 7
West Pass
North14
East1All Pass
South1

Against your routine game, West starts with the 4 (low from odd). East wins the A and returns the suit. What is your plan for taking 10 tricks on this deal?

Solution

The success or failure of the contract seemed to depend on the location of the A, but declarer found an extra chance. After cashing the A, declarer played a club to the ace and another club. East won the trick with the Q and got off play with his remaining trump. Declarer won in dummy with the 9 and led the 8. When the K appeared, declarer ruffed it and had a 10h trick that did not depend on who held the A.

Declarer took five trump tricks, one heart, one heart ruff, one diamond and two clubs. Only an initial diamond lead defeats the contract.

Declarer can even foil a low diamond shift from East by leading clubs from the dummy to deny East the opportunity to unblock a club honor (declarer ducks), as he could do if declarer starts clubs by leading the ace from hand. In the latter case, declarer would have to either allow West to gain the lead in clubs or for West to guard the suit by covering Wests 10 with dummys jack. The full deal:

18 0 15 7
A Q J 9 K Q K Q 4 J 8 5 4
5 2 10 5 4 10 8 5 3 10 9 6 2
7 3 A J 8 7 6 A J 9 K Q 3

K 10 8 6 4 9 3 2 7 6 2 A 7