facebookpixel

On a tight rope

Dlr:
South
Vul:
N-S
North
♠ J 9 4 3
9
Q 7 6 3
♣ A Q J 4
South
♠ A K 6 2
A 5 3
J 5 2
♣ 10 7 3
West North East South
1♣
1 Dbl Pass 2♠
3 4♠ All Pass

Against your 4♠ contract, West leads the K. Do you have a plan idea for getting to 10 tricks?

Click for Solution

After the opening lead was tabled, declarer saw that to have any chance at his contract, he needed to limit his black-suit losers to one. For starters, he needed spades to be 3-2 and either a doubleton ♠Q or the ♣K onside. So, after winning the first trick with the A declarer led a low club to West’s 9 and dummy’s jack. Once the latter held, declarer crossed back to hand with a trump to the ace to lead a second low club toward dummy. When the ♣K appeared, declarer won with the ace and played a low trump to his king, gratified to see that the suit had broken 3-2.

Declarer now had the contract in sight: he continued by ruffing a heart, then played a low club to his 10. After ruffing his remaining heart in dummy, declarer cashed the ♣Q, throwing a diamond from hand. Declarer had made nine tricks and as he had two diamonds and two trumps left, the defenders could score only two diamonds and a trump.

Note that it was essential to play two low clubs from hand on the first two rounds of the suit. If declarer had led the ♣10 at trick two, West would have covered it with the king, thereby restricting declarer to three club tricks, leaving him a trick short of his contract. The full deal:

Dlr:
South
Vul:
N-S
North
♠ J 9 4 3
9
Q 7 6 3
♣ A Q J 4
West
♠ 7 5
K Q J 10 7 4
A 10 8
♣ K 9
East
♠ Q 10 8
8 6 2
K 9 4
♣ 8 6 5 2
South
♠ A K 6 2
A 5 3
J 5 2
♣ 10 7 3