# Tens and a nine

### Hand of the Week

Dlr:
East
VUL:
N-S
North
♠ 8 5 2
10 6
10 4
♣ 10 8 7 6 3 2

South
♠ A K
A K Q J 8 7
A K 9 2
♣ A

 West North East South 3♦ Dbl Pass 4♣ Pass 6♥ All Pass

West leads the ♣K against your heart slam, and after dummy is displayed it appears that the contract is a tad ambitious. Given that West would have led a diamond if he had one, can you see any way of making 12 tricks?

### Solution

You can always make 12 tricks provided East has no more than two clubs. After winning the ♣A, you should cash the ace of trumps and lead a low trump to dummy’s 10. Next you ruff a club back to hand and play two more rounds of trumps. When East did begin with one or two clubs, such as on this full deal:

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

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

When you play the J, throwing a club from table, East is in trouble. You know he began with seven diamonds a trump and, hopefully two clubs. If East reduces to three diamonds, you will play the A, K and another diamond. East wins the trick and has to return a spade, allowing you to take the last three tricks with the top spades and the 9. Whenever East keeps four diamonds, and so only two spades, you will counter by cashing the two high spades, reducing East to Q J 8 7. This allows you to make three of the last four tricks by leading the 2 to dummy’s 10. When East takes the 10 with the jack or queen, he will be forced to lead a diamond, allowing your 9 diamonds to take a trick. Two more high diamonds will get your trick total to 12.

You should see that it was vital to ruff a club on the above layout, for otherwise East would defeat you by coming down to two spades, three diamonds and a club on the last trump. After winning his diamond, he would be able to play a club to his partner.

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