Test Your Play

1. IMPs

Dlr:
West
Vul:
None
North
♠ A K 10 3
A Q 3
Q J
♣ K J 7 5
South
♠ Q 5
J 9 8 5 2
10 9 6 4 3
♣ 10
WEst North East South
1 Dbl Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4
All Pass

West leads the A and continues with the K, East playing high-low. West cashes the ♣A and continues
with a third diamond. Take over.

CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION

To say you are in big trouble is an understatement. You are in desperate trouble. Your only chance is to play West for the stiff K and ruff with
the queen, play the A and if the king falls (it does) arrange a trump coup against East’s four hearts to the 10.

The next step is a heart to the 9, overtake the ♠Q, cash the ♣K, discarding a diamond, and ruff a club reducing to East’s length. If the ♣Q has appeared, cross to a high spade and play the ♣J. In this three-card ending East has no winning option. If East ruffs, you overruff, draw East’s last trump, and your remaining diamond is high. If East discards, you
discard the remaining diamond and take the last two tricks with the J 8.

If the ♣Q does not appear, lead a spade to the 10 as you need an extra winner to stay in the dummy to complete your trump coup. Assuming the 10 wins, play a high spade, discarding your remaining diamond, and take the last two tricks with the J 8.

Your play caters to these two possible East–West hands:

Case #1

West
♠ 7 6 4
K
A K 7 5
♣ A 8 6 3 2
East
♠ J 9 8 2
10 7 6 4
8 2
♣ Q 9 4

Case #2

West
♠ J 7 6 4
K
A K 7 5
♣ A 8 6 2
East
♠ 9 8 2
10 7 6 4
8 2
♣ Q 9 4 3

2.Matchpoints

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

Opening lead: ♣2. Your first two plays are the black aces. You see all black cards on both tricks. Unfortunately, both of East’s black cards are clubs. Plan the play.

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

You don’t have the wherewithal to avoid two diamond finesses given the spade position. Taking two diamond tricks via two diamond finesses has a 75-plus percent chance of success, but if you do this right, you can increase that number to almost 100% even if East has both missing honors.

Cash the A Q, cross to the ♠10, ruff a heart low, overtake the ♠Q and draw West’s remaining trump, discarding a club from the table,
leaving:

Dlr:
East
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ —
A J 10
♣ Q 6
South
♠ 8
K
6 5 3
♣ —

Now play a diamond to the 10 which East wins. What is East to return? Unless East miraculously produces a fourth heart (East did open 3♣), East is endplayed in either minor and you have the rest. If East does come up with a fourth heart, take the king (nice play), discard a club from dummy, and repeat the diamond finesse. Given the bidding and the lead, East’s distribution must be 0=4=2=7. If so, the second diamond finesse loses only if East started with K–Q blank. You couldn’t be that unlucky.