Risk Reduction

 

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

Against your 4♠ contract, West leads the 9. How do you plan to get to 10 tricks?

Solution

Declarer counted nine top tricks, with many possibilities for a 10th. Rather than playing low from dummy and risking East winning the trick with K and shifting to a club, declarer embarked on a plan that would yield 10 tricks as long as trumps were no worse than 3-1 and diamonds 4-3.<?p>

At trick one, declarer rose with the A and cashed the A and K. Next he crossed to dummy with a low trump and led the J. After East followed with a low card, declarer threw Q the queen from hand.

West won the trick with the Q and exited with the 9 to prevent the 10 from scoring a trick. East ruffed and declarer overruffed with the ♠A. After crossing to dummy with another low trump, declarer led the J. East covered with the king and declarer ruffed with the ♠K. Declarer returned to dummy yet again in trumps. The 10 was cashed for a club discard and a club was led to the king in an attempt at an overtrick, but this hope was dashed when West produced the ace.

No matter: Declarer had taken 10 tricks: six trumps, two hearts and two diamonds.

Had East followed with a low heart when the J hearts was led from dummy, declarer would have discarded a low club from hand. Even if West had had the K, declarer would have had 10 tricks: All he would have lost would have been a heart, a diamond and a club. The full deal:

Dlr: South ♠J 10 8
Vul: Both A J 10
J 10 5 4
♣ 8 5 2
♠ 5 ♠ 7 6 2
9 8 7 3 2 K 5 4
Q 9 8 2 7 6 3
♣ A Q 4 ♣ J 10 9 6
♠ A K Q 9 4 3
Q 6
A K
♣ K 7 3