# Declarer’s question: What are they doing?

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

The auction was the same at both tables in a team game, with the respective Norths stretching a bit to bid game on the basis of their four-card trump support.

At both tables, the lead was the Q, which looked to the declarers like an obvious singleton. Both declarers played the K at trick one. The Easts took the first trick with the A and shifted to the ♣K, much to the annoyance of both declarers. At the first table, declarer won with the ♣A and, without any discernable thought, played a low spade to the king. When East discarded a diamond the contract could no longer be made.

Put yourself in the seat of the declarer at the other table. After winning the ♣A at trick two, what is your plan for getting to 10 tricks?

## Solution

At the second table, the declarer paused for thought after winning with the ♣A. As the opening lead had clearly been a singleton, declarer’s first thought was that, on a vacant-spaces argument, it was four to three that West had the queen of trumps. Then declarer asked himself, “Why hadn’t East given his partner a heart ruff at trick two?” Declarer concluded that West probably had a trump trick and that East believed that his side needed more than just one heart ruff to beat the contract.

With that in mind, declarer led the ♠J from hand at trick three and ran it when West played low. Then declarer took the ♠A and ♠K before playing a low heart to the jack. When West accurately discarded a club, declarer returned to dummy with the K to lead the 9 East covered this with the 10 and declarer ruffed in hand. This time, West overruffed with the queen of trumps, but now declarer claimed all but one of the remaining tricks, conceding a club. He made four trumps, two hearts, two diamonds, the ♣A and a club ruff for a total of 10 tricks. The full deal:

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