Test Your Play

1. IMPs

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

(1) Jacoby (game-forcing heart raise).
(2) Roman Key Card Blackwood.
(3) Two keys, no Q.
(4) What exactly do you have in spades?
(5) Nothing.

West leads the♣Q. Hearts are not 4-0. Plan the play.

CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION
North
♠ 10 3 2
A J 4 3
J 7 3

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

Win the ♣A, ruff a club and play the K and 10. If trumps are 2–2, you have a claimer. Cash the A K Q, enter dummy with a trump, discard a spade on the ♣K, and run the ♠10 if East plays low. Assuming West wins the jack, West is endplayed. If East covers with the jack, play the queen. Assuming this loses to the king, West is endplayed again thanks to the power of the ♠8. So, no problema when hearts are 2–2.

Say hearts are 3–1. Cash the A K, enter dummy with a trump, discard a high diamond on the ♣K, cash the J, discarding a spade, and run the ♠10 once again ensuring one spade loser since the hand has been stripped.

The idea is not to cash three diamonds while a heart is outstanding. If you do and one opponent has two diamonds and three hearts, down you go unless East has ♠K J doubleton. Sure.

2. Matchpoints

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

West leads the ♣2. You play low from dummy and capture East’s jack. At trick two you lead a low club to dummy, both following, so the outstanding trump is the 9. Plan the play.

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

You are cold for a grand if diamonds break 3–3 and you may be cold for a grand if diamonds break 4–2 with East having the four or even if West has four diamonds with the odd trump. The point is that you should not draw the third trump because it costs nothing if you get overruffed in dummy. You can even survive some 5–1 diamond divisions.

Play the K and A and assuming both follow, lead a third diamond and ruff it low. If both follow, draw
the last trump and claim. if West follows to the third diamond and East overruffs dummy, you can still ruff another diamond in dummy and take the rest of the tricks. If West follows and East cannot overruff, you can return to your hand with a major-suit king, ruff another diamond, return to your hand with the other major suit king, draw the last trump and claim. If West shows out on the third diamond, you should be able to ruff two diamonds in dummy and take the rest of the tricks. So much for 3–3 or 4–2 diamond divisions.

Now it is time to deal with a possible 5–1 diamond division. A worst-case scenario finds West with five diamonds and East with the odd trump. Now assuming East doesn’t ruff air when you lead a second diamond towards your hand (if he does, you have the rest), you need to find West with 5–5 in the reds in order to organize a red-suit squeeze. Forget that. If West is 5–5 in the reds with two clubs and one spade it means that East has passed 1 with seven spades. At favorable! At matchpoints! And West did not lead a singleton spade! Sure.

When East has five diamonds, however, you could be in business. Say you play the K and a diamond to the ace, West ruffs and gets out with a spade. You win the king, ruff a diamond, return to the K, ruff a diamond with dummy’s last trump, cash the A and ruff a heart leaving:

Dlr:
South
Vul:
Both
North
♠ A 6
6
♣ —
South
♠ 5
8
♣ 10

You know that East has the odd diamond and you need West to have the odd heart, so assume he has it. If so, each opponent has two spades. When you play the ♣10, West must discard
a spade to keep the heart winner, and you discard dummy’s now worthless heart. Now it’s East’s turn to discard. East dare not discard the master diamond, so East discards a spade as well. Don’t look now, but both of dummy’s spades are good!