Hand of the Week
Partner should have bid 5♠ to ask for a heart control, but there is nothing wrong with the final contract. How do you plan to make 12 tricks after West leads the ♥10 and East has two trumps to West’s one?
After winning the heart lead in hand with the ace, you draw trumps in two rounds. The central question now is how to combine your chances in the minors. Clearly you should tackle clubs first, but you must decide how best to do this.
One possibility is to play ♣A, ♣K and another club. This line fails to produce three club tricks, and a discard for dummy’s third diamond, only when West started with four or more clubs to the Q-10. Unfortunately, on the given layout West does hold length in clubs, and the fall-back position of a finesse in diamonds fails.
It may seem strange, but the best line is to cash the ♣A and ruff dummy’s remaining heart so that you can lead the second round of clubs from the hand. You intend to cover West’s card. This approach fails to produce a third club trick directly only when East’s original holding in clubs was Q-10-x-x or 10-x.
In the former case, when East opened 2♥ on a six-card heart suit, he can have at most a singleton in diamonds, so managing that suit for three tricks will be a breeze. Even if East was adventurous enough to open 2♥ on a five-card suit, the diamond finesse will still be a 5-2 favorite. When East began with ♣10-x, he will win the second trick but then face the prospect of leading into dummy’s ♦A K J or conceding a ruff and discard. Either way you make the contract.