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

Partner’s response to your Roman Key Card Blackwood bid of 4NT showed two key cards (aces and the trump king) without the ♠Q. When dummy hits, you can see you are in a good contract. West starts with the J. You win in hand, cross to dummy with a heart and run the ♠10, which holds. How do you proceed from there?

Solution

After the ♠10 held, declarer continued with the ♠2 from dummy, East following suit with the 6. Declarer was not tempted to finesse for a second time, for that would rely on the king of trumps being on his right, still only a 50% chance. Instead, he rose with the ♠A because he saw that he could guarantee the contract if the trumps were 3-2 (a 68% chance) and that he would have quite promising residual chances if East did have four trumps to the king.

After West followed for a second time in trumps, declarer cashed the K and Q, discarding the ♣2 from dummy. Next, he crossed to dummy with a club to the ace then discarded a club on dummy’s the K. All that remained was to cross to his ♣K and ruff his remaining club with dummy’s ♠9. He lost just one trick, to the ♠K.

Note that a second trump finesse would have resulted in a defeated contract because West would have won the trick with the king and returned his last trump. Declarer would then have been reduced to relying on the failing club finesse. The full deal:

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