Test Your Play

1. IMPs

Dlr:
North
Vul:
Both
North
♠ K J 10 9 7 6 2
A 6 3
♣ 6 5 4
South
♠ 5
K Q 9 8 5 2
A J 10 8 42
♣ —
West North East South
3♠ Pass 4
All Pass

West leads the ♣3, East playing the ♣A. Plan the play.

CLICK HERE FOR SOLUTION
Dlr:
North
Vul:
Both
North
♠ K J 10 9 7 6 2
A 6 3
♣ 6 5 4
South
♠ 5
K Q 9 8 5 2
A J 10 8 42
♣ —

After this wonderful catch of a dummy, you don’t want to blow this one.

Ruff the club, ruff a diamond low, draw trumps. Say they are 3–1. Play the A and J while remaining with two trumps.

If diamonds are 4–3, the most you can lose is two diamonds and a spade. If an honor or the 9 falls doubleton, you can stand 5–2 diamonds and still lose only two diamond tricks.

Playing on diamonds offers you a better chance of success than playing a spade early.

2. Matchpoints

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

West leads the ♠Q. After winning the ♠A in dummy, what is your matchpoint play on this deal?

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

Try a club to the ace. If both follow low, lead a heart to the king and a heart to the ace. If hearts are 2–2, cash the ♣K, and if they are also 2–2, you have 13 tricks. If clubs are 3–1, exit with the ♣10 and hope the player who wins leads a spade rather than a diamond. If so, you will take 12 tricks, otherwise 11.

If the Q is still at large after two rounds of hearts, concede your heart loser and hope whoever wins plays a spade rather than a diamond. Now if clubs are 2–2, you have 12 tricks.

If a club honor drops on your left at trick two, play the A K. If both follow or if West has three hearts, lead a club to the 10, the percentage play for five tricks. If West has a singleton heart, play for clubs to be 2–2 as West is unlikely to have two singletons and not make a peep during the bidding.