The Right Touch

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

Considering the strength of your hand, game is normal with the North-South cards. Your main problem is the weak dummy. How will you get to 10 tricks after West leads a trump?

Solution

West led the ♠5. Declarer won in hand with the queen and crossed to the K to take the heart finesse. West won with the king and exited with a second trump. Declarer won in hand with the ♠K and played the ♣A and another club. East won the trick and played a third trump to declarer’s ace. Declarer now ducked a diamond, letting West’s 8 hold. West continued with the ♣K. Declarer ruffed in dummy and then cashed the A. When the diamonds proved to be 4-2, he was down one.

Declarer offered a weak apology to his partner and then muttered, “Nothing was right in the red suits.”

North was not impressed. “You had nine top tricks,” he said. “A dummy reversal would have given you a 10th. All you had to do was cash the A at trick two and play the Q at trick three. West wins and leads a second trump to your king. Then you cross to dummy with a low diamond to the king and ruff dummy’s remaining heart with the ♠A. You would have a choice of suits to play next but I would try the ♣A and another club. After a defender wins this trick he cannot prevent you from entering dummy with a high ruff of a club to draw the last trump. You would have 10 tricks – five trumps, one heart, a heart ruff and the three minor-suit tops.” The full deal:

Dlr: South ♠ J 10 9 6 4
Vul: E-W 8 6 4
K 6 4
♣ 7 6
♠ 8 5 ♠ 7 3 2
K J 9 7 3 10 5 2
J 8 10 7 3
♣ K J 9 3 ♣ 10 4
♠ A K Q
A Q
A 9 5 2
♣ A 8 5 2
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