No Worries if You Play Right

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

Against your heart game, West leads the ♠9. You win in hand and play a low heart to the jack, which holds. When you cash the A, East discards. Now what?

Solution

Declarer was not too bothered about the trump split. As West was certain to have the ♣A and the K for for his opening bid, declarer’s thoughts turned to endplaying West with a trump.

With that in mind, declarer cashed the ♠A and continued with the ♠J, throwing a club from hand. West also parted with a low club, so declarer continued with the ♠10, throwing
a second club from hand. West postponed the inevitable by discarding the 8. It was to no avail, however, as declarer next played the 5 to his 6 and West’s 10. West cashed the K but then had to broach a minor suit. In the end, he chose to lead the K because his partner had not signaled encouragingly in clubs.

Declarer claimed 10 tricks: five spades, three trumps and two diamonds. The full deal:

Dlr: West ♠ A J 10 8 4
Vul: Both A J 5
A 7 6 3
♣ Q4
♠ 9 7 ♠ 6 5 3 2
K 10 9 7 4
K J 8 10 9 5 2
♣ A Q 8 7 ♣ J 10 6 5
♠ K Q
Q 8 6 3 2
Q 4
♣ K 9 3 2
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