Bridge Hand Of The Week

Figure it out

Oct 29, 2018
Dlr: West Vul: Both
13 16
A 10 9 2 5 2 K 9 5 2 A Q 6

Q J 5 K 7 6 3 A Q 3 K J 9
WestPass All Pass
North1
East1
South3NT

Against your notrump game, West leads the J. You play low from dummy and East contributes the Q. What is your plan for nine tricks?

Solution

Declarer played low when East played the Q. East continued with the A, followed by the 10. Declarer took this with the king and paused to assess his chances.

He could count only eight certain tricks and so needed to develop another one in diamonds or spades.

Declarers first move was to cash the A, Q and play a diamond to the king. Easts low spade discard was a disappointment, but not unexpected. At this point, the contract seemed to depend on the spade finesse, but this declarer disliked taking finesses whenever there was a chance of gaining a trick by other means. He cashed the A, Q and played a club to his king. When both defenders followed to all three clubs, East was marked with an original 3=5=2=3 or 2=5=2=4 shape. Disregarding the K, the a priori odds on these East/West cards are 4:3 respectively.

Additionally, declarer thought that, with four clubs and a doubleton K, East might have thrown a club rather than a low spade on the third diamond. So declarer led his remaining heart. East could take the 9 and 8, but then had to lead away from K. The full deal:

13 2 9 16
A 10 9 2 5 2 K 9 5 2 A Q 6
8 7 6 J 4 J 10 8 4 10 8 4 2
K 4 3 A Q 10 9 8 7 6 7 5 3

Q J 5 K 7 6 3 A Q 3 K J 9