Careful Planning

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

1. One round force

You open 1♠ and partner responds 1NT, forcing for one round. Partner’s 3♠ rebid promises a limit raise in spades with three-card support. You accept the invitation to game and West leads the Q. How do you like your chances on this layout? What is your plan to get to 10 tricks?

Solution

After West’s opening lead, declarer paused to consider how he might make 10 tricks. Clearly, he needed trumps to be 3-2. If North held the 10 of diamonds instead of the 7 or 4, declarer would have relied on diamonds to make an extra trick. However, the actual suit offered only about one chance in four of being played for two tricks and one loser.

Declarer, therefore, turned his attention to setting up a long club for his 10th trick, almost a three-in-five proposition. After ducking the first trick and winning the heart continuation, declarer played a club to the ace and ruffed a club. Next he cashed the ♠A and led another to the king, followed by the ♣K, discarding a low diamond from hand. Declarer was pleased to see that the clubs were 4-3, so he ruffed a second club in hand. A heart ruff returned him to dummy, where he called for the established ♣7, discarding a second diamond from hand. All the defenders made were a trump, a heart and a diamond. Making 4♠. The full deal:

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