Test Your Play

1. IMPs

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

West leads the ♣K.

Part 1: You ruff, lead a spade to the ace and run the Q. Do you agree with declarer’s line so far? If not, what would you have done?

Part 2: You should have agreed. The finesse loses (you knew that) and back comes a club. Plan the play from here.

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

You can just about claim. Ruff the club and persist with diamonds until someone ruffs. At this point there will be two spades outstanding.

If a third club is played, ruff with the ♠J, cash the ♠K and more diamonds. Eventually you can discard a heart from dummy on the fifth diamond. Your losses will include two
spade tricks (if spades were 4–1) and the K. By drawing only one round of trumps and continually playing diamonds, you have catered to 4–1 spades, kept control of the hand, and avoided losing a heart trick.

One trap to avoid is playing the ♠K A before leading the Q. If you run into 4–1 spades with the K offside, another club force does you in.

2. Rubber

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

(1) Hand hog supreme.

Opening lead ♠5. Plan the play.

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

Win the ♠A and plunk down the ♣A. Unless West plays the 9, jack or queen, plunk down the ♣K. If clubs are 3–2, concede a club, if necessary, and you have nine tricks. If someone shows out on the second club, abandon clubs and play for five heart tricks by overtaking the Q and driving out the A.

If the ♣9, jack or queen falls from West at trick two, rather than plunking down the ♣K, lead the Q overtaking if West plays low. If the king wins, lead a club toward your hand, and unless East shows out (not gonna happen), you have a lock for five club tricks by covering whatever club East plays.

When you lead the Q to the king, say East wins and returns a spade, try to run the hearts. If they don’t run, you are still alive for nine tricks if West’s singleton club was an honor by leading a club from dummy and finessing the 10 (if you believe that West started with seven or more major-suit cards. If you believe he had fewer, play for the drop).