Snip, Snip

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

(1) Weak
Against your 4♠ contract, West leads the Q. East overtakes with the king to shift to the 2. What is your play for getting to 10 tricks on this deal?

Solution

The diamond shift looked suspiciously like a singleton, so declarer paused to consider what he could do to prevent a diamond ruff. He saw that playing the ♠A and another spade would succeed if trumps were 2-2, but he suspected that East had three trumps to the king, If so, declarer could see the defenders taking a trump, two hearts and a diamond ruff.

Declarer’s plan was to try to cut communication between the defenders’ hands. He won the second trick with dummy’s J and led a low club to his jack. When that held, declarer cashed the ♣A, led a low trump to dummy’s ace and played the ♣Q. East covered with the king. Instead of ruffing, declarer threw the 8 from hand. East tried to put West in by leading a low heart, but declarer ruffed and continued by leading the ♠Q. East could take the ♠K, but that was the end for the defense. Declarer made five trumps, two clubs and three diamonds for a total of 10 tricks. The full deal:

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

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