# Timing is Everything

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

Against your 3NT contract, West led the ♠3, fourth-highest. East plays the ♠K. How will you take nine tricks on this deal?

## Solution

Declarer saw that he needed spades to be 4-4. and realized that he could not release the K before he made a diamond trick. The only chance was to time the play in a way that would put the defenders on lead when they could cash three spades and then be forced to give him a second trick in a red suit. As the only sure way of achieving this was to endplay the defense with a spade, declarer saw that he had to take East’s ♠K with the ace at trick one. Proceeding with this idea, declarer cashed the ♣A at trick two. He followed this by playing a low heart to dummy’s ace and ran the clubs.

Declarer threw three hearts and a diamond from hand. East threw a spade and a heart and West a low heart.

Declarer led the K, which East ducked in the hope that West had a second diamond. Declarer countered this by playing dummy’s ♠8. East rose with the jack and exited with his remaining spade. West cashed the ♠Q and ♠9 but then had to play a heart, as he had only that suit remaining in his hand. So, declarer had nine tricks – a spade, two hearts, a diamond and five clubs.

Note that the natural line of trying to cross to dummy with a diamond fails. East wins the trick, the defenders cash the spade suit, then exit with a heart. Declarer never makes a trick with the K: he would lose three spades and two diamonds. The full deal:

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