1. Transfer to spades
2. Roman Key Card Blackwood
3. 0 or 3 key cards
After opening 2NT (20-21), you quickly find yourself in what appears to be a good contract at the six level. West kicks off the defensive effort with a low trump. Do you like your chances to bring this contract home?
After the trump lead, when dummy appeared, declarer counted 11 top tricks. If trumps were 2-2, Declarer saw that he could make certain of a 12th trick on an elimination play: draw trumps, cash the hearts and play a diamond to the queen. If West won the trick, he would be endplayed. Declarer took the first trick in hand with the ♠9 and cashed the ♠J. Alas, trumps proved to be 3-1, West having the length. The elimination plan had to be abandoned.
Declarer drew the last trump and was about to play on diamonds when a thought struck him: It would cost nothing to take the heart winners first. Backing his judgment, declarer cashed the ♥A, ♥Q and ♥K, then led the ♦9 to the queen. West won with the king and had only minor-suit cards remaining. It was clear to West that declarer had the ♣Q, so West exited with the ♦J, hoping his partner would produce the 10. Declarer won with the ♦A and threw a club on his good ♦10: He had six trumps, three hearts, two diamonds and a club to make his contract. Notice that if declarer hadn’t cashed the heart winners, the contract would have failed because West would then have had a safe exit in hearts. If West had started with more than three hearts, declarer could have ruffed in dummy when West continued that suit, then cashed the ♦A and ruffed the ♦3. If the ♦J was still outstanding, declarer would have fallen back on the club finesse to make the contract. The full deal: