Take Your Best Shot

 

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

Against your 4♠ contract, West starts with the K. Can you see a way to 10 tricks?

Solution

After West led the K, declarer won with dummy’s ace. It seemed that it would not be a simple matter to make 10 tricks. It looked as though declarer was slated to lose two hearts, a club and a diamond even if the opponents’ trumps split favorably.

The situation grew more dire when declarer played a low trump from dummy, East discarding a heart.

Declarer saw that his only hope for 10 tricks was an endplay against West. If that were possible, West would have to have started with 3=1=7=2 distribution. So after taking the top two trumps in hand, declarer cashed the ♣A and ♣K, followed by the A. Next came the J. West took the trick with the Q as it would serve no purpose to play low: He would just be thrown on lead with a trump.

After cashing the ♠Q, West had to lead a diamond. Declarer did not ruff, however. Instead, he discarded a club from the dummy and a heart from hand. Declarer ruffed the next diamond in dummy and discarded his remaining heart from hand. Declarer then crossruffed the last three tricks to make his contract, losing only a trump and two diamonds. The full deal:

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