Make Them Pay

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

Some might consider your partner’s bidding to be aggressive, and East obviously thinks you’re overboard.Can you prove the opponents wrong after West starts with the Q?

Solution

At trick one, declarer threw a diamond from dummy and East took the trick with A to shift to the ♣2. West won with the ace and returned a club; East ruffed and still had the trump king to come for one down. Declarer’s complaint about his bad luck fell on deaf ears.

“On the opening lead, you can place East with the ace of hearts,” said North. “You should win the trick by ruffing in dummy and playing on clubs. If West ducks his ace, you continue with a second club.”

“Suppose West gives East a club ruff after winning the ace of clubs at trick two. East can do no better than exit with the K. You win with the A and play the ♠Q. You have to keep the ace of trumps intact at this point, otherwise you will not be able to ruff a second heart
in dummy for your game-going trick. Suppose East takes this trick with the ♠K. He can try to cash a diamond or lead a second trump. Either way, you would be able to ruff another heart in the dummy. You’d make 10 tricks: four trumps in hand, two heart ruffs in dummy, one diamond and three clubs.”

South asked, “Can your plan survive a red-suit shift after West wins the ace of clubs?”

“If West exits with a heart, you discard a diamond from dummy and would be in full control. A diamond exit is no better: you win with the ace of diamonds and play the ace and queen of trumps and, if the latter holds, you would play the three of trumps next.”

“You would always make four trumps, a heart ruff, the A and four clubs on a red-suit shift from West.” The full deal:

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