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

After your partner’s limit raise in spades, you have an easy continuation to game. West starts with the 10. You play low from dummy. East wins with the A and continues with the 7 to your queen and West’s 6. The contract looked easy until you cash the ♠K and West discards a club. What is your plan for getting to 10 tricks on this deal?

Solution

After getting the bad news in the trump suit, declarer could see that he nine tricks, and the tenth trick appeared to depend on West holding the K. However, declarer did not rush to explore that possibility as he saw an extra chance: from the carding in hearts, East appeared to have exactly three cards in the suit. If that were the case, declarer saw that a partial elimination might work.

So, after playing the ace of trumps, declarer crossed to dummy via a club to the ace. He continued by cashing the K, throwing the ♣Q from hand. Then he ruffed dummy’s remaining club, thereby eliminating the suit. Now, instead of playing a diamond, he exited with a trump. East found himself on lead with only minor-suit cards remaining. If he played a club, declarer would discard a diamond from hand and ruff in dummy: he would lose only a trump, a heart and a diamond. In practice, East exited with a diamond and this ran to dummy’s queen. Declarer claimed 10 tricks, conceding a diamond. He made five trumps, two hearts, two diamonds and one club. The full deal:

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