Crossruff

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

North’s 1NT was a one-round force. His jump rebid of 3♠ promised game-invitational values with exactly three spades. Against your game, West leads the A, on which East plays the queen, promising the jack West’s next play is a low heart to East’s 10. Do you see a route to 10 tricks?

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After West continued with a heart to East, declarer saw that he could always make 10 tricks provided the diamonds were 3-2 and neither defender could get a club ruff. Declarer decided to play on those assumptions, which pointed to his best route to 10 tricks. His first move was to ruff the 10. Next, he led a club to dummy’s king. East took this with the ace and, hoping to cause South a problem, played a third heart. After ruffing this with the ♠8, declarer cashed his three minor-suit winners and then played a third round of diamonds. Declarer had already made five tricks, so West had no winning defense after he won the Q. West took his best shot by exiting with the *S*9, Declarer played low from dummy and won the trick with the ♠J, his sixth trick. Declarer could now win the next four tricks on a high crossruff.

Notice that if East had returned a trump after winning with the ♣A, declarer could have cashed dummy’s ♣Q then played the A, K and another diamond. As West would not have a trump to play, declarer would have been able to ruff the card West played, then crossruff the last four tricks. Finally, if West did have a trump and played it, declarer could draw trumps and claim the rest. The full deal:

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