Hand of the Week
How do you plan to make 10 tricks after West leads the ♥K against your adventurous four-level pre-emptive opening?
When this deal was originally played, declarer ruffed and played a trump to the king then another to the ace before he turned his attention to diamonds. West signaled to show he had an even number of diamonds, and East took advantage of this by not taking his ♦A until the third round of the suit.
When East exited with a heart, declarer ruffed but, as he had to play clubs from his own hand, he could not avoid losing two club tricks for a one trick set.
The way to sidestep this is to lay down the ♠A at trick two and to play on diamonds at trick three. What can your opponents do? If East takes the ♦A on the third round of the suit, you will reach dummy’s diamond winner with the ♠K. All you will lose is a trump, a diamond and a club.
Suppose East takes the ♦A on the first or second round of the suit and continues hearts. Then, your simplest way home on this layout is to ruff, cash dummy’s king of trumps, ruff a heart and continue with a third round of trumps. After that you can cash all the diamond winners that are your due, because you still have at least one diamond left in hand.
Also, note that it would not profit East to shift to a low club after taking his ♦;A on the first or second round. You will duck, forcing West to win the defense’s club trick, and then no continuation can worry you.