# Counting Minors

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

2NT = game-forcing heart raise

The interference from East – bold bidding considering the vulnerability – didn’t trouble you too much. You were probably going to get to at least a small slam anyway. Your 4NT was Roman Key Card Blackwood. Partner’s 5♣ showed 0 or 3 key cards. 5NT guaranteed all key cards and the trump queen and asked about kings. Partner’s 6 showed specifically the K.

West starts with the ♠9 What is your plan to taking all the tricks?

## Solution

The opening lead was consistent with an original holding of a singleton or doubleton spade in the West hand. Declarer tentatively placed East with eight spades and five cards in the minors. As there were six cards outstanding in each minor, West had to have at least one card in each suit if he were 2=4 in the majors and had seven minor-suit cards. With that in mind, declarer cashed the ♣A, followed by a diamond to the ace in the knowledge that neither card could be ruffed.

Declarer noted that East had at least one card in each minor and that left three unknown minor-suit cards in his hand. Declarer could thus lead a club to the king and a diamond to the king in complete safety: there were four cards in each minor remaining in the defensive hands and East could hold at most three of them in either suit, which therefore meant that West had to have at least one card remaining in each minor.

Declarer ruffed his spade loser with theQ, cashed the ♣Q and led a heart to the 8 and 10. He then ruffed his fourth club high,led a heart to the 7 and drew West’s last trump with the ace. The Q was the 13th and contract-fulfilling trick. Note that if East had followed twice in each minor, it would have been safe to cash the queen of both minors, at which point declarer would have known what to do next. Finally, if East had discarded on the second diamond, then a diamond could have been ruffed safely in dummy for the 13th trick.The full deal:

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