# Watching for Clues

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

1. At least 5-5 in hearts and diamonds

Your partner made two penalty-oriented doubles, but you did not like your void in hearts, so you bid 3♠. Partner then drove to the spade slam. West starts off with the K, taken in dummy perforce. What is your plan to get to 12 tricks?

## Solution

As usual, declarer could count 11 tricks against any distribution, 12 if the trumps were an unlikely 3-2. After winning the first trick in dummy, declarer played the ♠K and a spade to his ace, getting the bad news that East had a trump trick. Declarer ruffed a diamond then cashed the ♣K and overtook the ♣Q with the ace. When West discarded a diamond, declarer paused to think.

It was clear from the auction that East had longer hearts than diamonds or he would have bid 3 instead of 3. Declarer surmised that West began with 1=5=6=1 shape and East with 4=3=2=4 distribution. So, declarer cashed the ♠Q and played two more rounds of clubs, reducing everyone to four cards. Declarer now played his last club. East threw a heart because he saw that there was no point in ruffing. If he did, he would have had to lead a heart, allowing declarer to take the last three tricks with two hearts and a trump. East’s discard, however, served only to delay his fate. Declarer then led a trump, throwing dummy’s remaining low heart. East got his trump trick but dummy’s A and Q took the last two tricks. Of course, if West had followed to the second club, he would have been marked with 1=5=5=2 shape, so a second diamond could then have been ruffed safely in dummy. The A would have taken care of declarer’s last diamond and all declarer would have lost would have been a trump trick. The full deal:

Dlr:
South
Vul
N-S
North
♠ K 7 5 4
A Q 6 3 2
A
♣ K Q 2
West
♠ 10
K J 10 9 7
K Q J 9 8 3
♣ 6
East
♠ J 9 8 6
18 5 4
10 5
♣ 8 7 4 3
South
♠ A Q 3 2
7 6 4 2
♣ A J 10 9 5