Test Your Play

1. Matchpoints

Dlr:
South
Vul:
None
North
♠ A Q J
9 7 6
A Q J 10
♣ A 6 4
South
♠ 5
A 10 8 5 4
K 8 5
♣ K J 7
WEst North East South
1
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 3 Pass 4
Pass 4NT(1) Pass 5(2)
AllPass

(1) RKCB in a double agreement sequence. Kings and queens of both suits counted.
(2) Two key cards (A and K) but neither red queen.

West leads the K. Plan the play.

CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION
Dlr:
South
Vul:
None
North
♠ A Q J
9 7 6
A Q J 10
♣ A 6 4
West
♠ K 9 6
K Q J
7 3 2
♣ Q 8 3 2
East
♠ 10 8 7 4 3 2
3 2
9 6
♣ 10 9 5
South
♠ 5
A 10 8 5 4
K 8 5
♣ K J 7

It is pretty clear that West has led from the K Q J, so it can’t hurt to duck the king. Say that West continues with a second high heart, which is
as good as anything. This time win the ace, cash the ♠A (key play) and start running diamonds. If West ruffs in, he is endplayed in either black suit. If West doesn’t ruff a diamond, exit a heart and force a black-card return removing your possible club loser.

If West switches to a spade at trick two, win the ace, cash the A and run the diamonds, exiting with a trump if a diamond has not been ruffed. Same endplay.

Thanks to Jon Shuster of Gainesville FL for this one.

2.Matchpoints

Dlr:
South
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ K 5 4
Q 7
A 10 3 2
♣ A K 6 4
South
♠ A Q 7 2
A K J 10 9 2
♣ J 7 3

You (South) open 1 and wind up in 7 against silent opposition. West leads the Q. Plan the play. (West has two trumps.)

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

Ruff the opening lead, play three rounds of hearts discarding a spade from dummy, cross to the ♣A, ruff a second diamond, and then over to the ♣K.

If the queen drops, you have 13 tricks. If it doesn’t, discard the ♣J on the A and ruff a club. If clubs are 3–3, you have 13 tricks. If not, your last four cards are spades and dummy has the ♠K–x, a low club and a low diamond. If spades are 3–3 you have the rest. If the player with four spades has either the long club or the long diamond, that player has been squeezed out of a spade earlier.

As you can see, you have multiple chances to make the contract: The ♣Q singleton or doubleton, clubs 3–3, spades 3–3, or the player with four spades having either the long club or the long diamond.

If hearts are 4–1, you do not have the luxury of ruffing two diamonds and a club. You will, in all likelihood, have to settle for ruffing one diamond and one club, losing some of your squeeze positions.