Looking Ahead

Dlr: West ♠ 10 9 7 3 2
Vul: E-W K 6 4 3
A 2
♣ J 3
♠ K Q J 8 4
8 7 5
K 3
♣ A K 6
West North East South
1 Pass Pass 1♠
Pass 2 (1) Pass 4♠
All Pass

(1) Good raise in spades
West leads the Q. You play low from the dummy and East wins with the A, obviously a singleton. East continues with the ♣10. How will you play after winning with the ♣A?

Solution

Considering that East, who had passed his partner’s opening bid, took the first trick with the A, declarer placed the ♠A on his left. Clearly there would not be a problem if West had at least two trumps, so declarer turned his thoughts to overcoming the problem of West having a bare ♠A.

Declarer’s plan was to strip the minor-suits from his hand and dummy before playing a trump. If East ruffed the K he would then have no satisfactory exit card. So after taking the club shift at trick three with the ace, declarer cashed the A and K, then cashed the ♣K and ruffed the ♣6 high. Only then did he call for a trump from dummy. West took the ♠K with the ace and returned a predictable J. Declarer covered this with the king and East ruffed with his remaining trump. With only minor-suit cards remaining, East had to play one, allowing declarer to throw his heart loser on the return and ruff it dummy for his 10th trick. The full deal:

Dlr: West ♠ 10 9 7 3 2
Vul: E-W K 6 4 3
A 2
♣ J 3
♠ A ♠ 6 5
Q J 10 9 2 A
Q J 10 6 9 8 7 5 4
♣ Q 7 4 ♣ 10 9 8 5 2
♠ K Q J 8 4
8 7 5
K 3
♣ A K 6
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