Queen Me!

Dlr: East ♠ Q 9 6 3
Vul: N-S 6 5 2
Q J 6
♣ Q 5 2
♠ K J 10 8 7 4
A K Q
4
♣ A 6 4
West North East South
1NT Dbl(1)
Redbl(2) Pass 2♣ 2♠
Pass 3♠ Pass 4♠
All Pass

1. Penalty oriented
2. Requires East to bid 2♣
West leads the 10 and you play the jack. East wins with the king and exits with the J.
You have nine top tricks. How will you develop a 10th?

Solution

After winning trick two with the A, Declarer could see that he had nine certain tricks. Considering East’s opening bid, declarer knew that the missing aces and kings were all on his right. With that in mind, declarer saw a plan that enabled him to put that knowledge to work to make a 10th trick.

In with the A, declarer led his ♠J to dummy’s queen. East won with the ace and exited with the 10 to declarer’s king. king. Declarer’s next move was to draw the outstanding trump by leading his ♠8 to dummy’s 9 so that he could ruff dummy’s 6 with the ♠K. After cashing the Q, thereby eliminating the suit, declarer led his ♠4 to dummy’s 6 and called for dummy’s Q. When East covered this with the ace, declarer discarded the ♣4 from his hand instead of ruffing.

East was endplayed and had no winning option. If he led a club, dummy’s queen would make a trick and see declarer home. The alternative was to concede a ruff-and-discard with a red-suit return:

Declarer would discard the ♣6 from hand and make his tenth trick by ruffing in dummy.

Accordingly, East folded his cards, conceding the rest, and said, “Well played.” The full deal:

Dlr: East ♠ Q 9 6 3
Vul: N-S 6 5 2
Q J 6
♣ Q 5 2
♠ 5 ♠ A 2
8 4 3 J 10 9 7
10 9 8 5 2 A K 7 3
♣ 10 9 7 3 ♣ K J 8
♠ K J 10 8 7 4
A K Q
4
♣ A 6 4