Test Your Play

1. IMPs

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

West leads the 3. You cover with dummy’s 7 and capture East’s 9 with your king.
You next play the A K and a third diamond, and the suit is 3–3. East wins the queen and counters with the ♠J, which you allow to hold. East exits with a low club. Plan the play.

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

There is no need to take the club hook, a practice finesse if there ever was one. For openers, you have nine tricks if the hearts come in, and even if they don’t, you will still make the contract if East has the ♣K.

Win the ♣A, cross to dummy with a heart and assuming West shows out, cash dummy’s 13th diamond along with the two remaining heart winners before exiting dummy with the last heart to East. Dummy remains with two low spades and you remain with the ♣Q 10. East, club flush, will exit with a low club. Since you can’t make this if West has the ♣K, go up with the queen.

2. IMPs

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

You win the opening lead of the ♣Q in dummy and run the ♠J to West’s ace. West exits with the 2 to East’s ace. East returns a low club which West ruffs. West exits a spade, East following. You have lost three tricks and need the rest. Plan the play.

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

You have to find a way to get rid of your club loser. It is clear that West has the K, and given the vulnerability plus your diamond spots, it is odds on that West has a six-card suit. Also, he might have doubled 1♠ with four hearts. Therefore, what you have to do is squeeze East. Here’s how:

Cross to the Q and ruff a heart. Cash two of your three remaining spade winners, discarding a diamond and a club from dummy, leaving what is almost certainly this end position:

Dlr:
North
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ —
10 9
A
♣ A
West
♠ —
Q
K J 6
♣ —
East
♠ —
J 8
♣ J 8
South
♠ 8
7
♣ 9 6

When you cross to the A, East is caught in a ruffing squeeze. If he discards a heart, ruff a heart and dummy is high. If he discards a club, cash the ♣A, cross to your hand with a heart ruff, and take the last trick with your ♣9.