Important Choice

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

Against your contract of 6♣, West starts with the Q to dummy’s singleton king. How do you plan to come up with 12 tricks on this deal?

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After the first trick is won in dummy, declarer counted at least nine tricks if the trumps played for no loser, with finesses in the major suits as fallbacks. The common practice of trying to set up the long suit (spades) seemed to declarer to be fraught with danger as there just didn’t seem to be enough entries to do so unless the spades were 3-3 or the ♠K were onside. It was for similar reasons that declarer rejected the heart finesse by leading a heart to the ace at trick two. After throwing dummy’s remaining heart on the A,, declarer ruffed a heart. Next he cashed the ♠A and ruffed a spade low. When he was able to ruff a second heart in dummy, declarer was almost home. He continued by ruffing a spade with the ♣A and followed this by ruffing the 9 in dummy. After ruffing a spade with the ♣K, declarer led the Q and ruffed it in dummy. That was the 10th trick and declarer had to make two tricks from his ♣J 10 7: all he would lose was a trick to the ♣Q. Once declarer had embarked on a crossruff, it was vital that he ruff the third and fourth rounds of spades high, for otherwise West could have overruffed with his queen and returned a trump to defeat the contract. The full deal:

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