Think it Through

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

(1) Six or more diamonds, fewer than three hearts

West leads the ♠10 against your 5 contract. You can see that partner judged that the *H*K was well-placed because of West’s takeout double. So how will you come to 11 tricks on this deal?

Solution

Before playing to trick one, declarer paused to consider his options. It was soon clear that only the heart suit offered any chance of bringing the contract home. The best option in the suit was to play West for three or four hearts headed by the king.

So after winning the first trick with the ♠A, declarer led his heart. West played low and dummy’s Q won the trick. After throwing a spade on the A, declarer called for the 3. After ruffing this with the A, declarer cashed the Q and led the J to dummy’s king. Next, the 6 was ruffed with declarer’s 10, thereby establishing the J as a winner. Declarer drew East’s remaining trump by leading the 4 to dummy’s 7. He cashed the J, throwing a second spade from hand, for his ninth trick. Then declarer gave up two clubs and claimed his contract by making his two remaining trumps separately, ruffing a club in dummy and a spade in hand. The full deal:

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