Problem # 145  

 

                                          From                   4th April 2007, Board 14

                                          Theme                Postponement of Trumps

                                                                     Counting the Distribution

                                          Difficulty            * * *

                                          Dlr West            None Vul

 

♠ A94
K96432
KJ
♣ K2

 

         North

West             East

         South

East     South   West    North

                        2        Pass

Pass    2♠        Pass    4♠

Pass    Pass    Pass

♠ T8762

QT5
♣ A8764

 

 

When Dummy goes down you wish you had balanced with a Double and you also wonder why Partner bid so much.

 

West leads the A, which you ruff in your hand.  Plan the play.

 

SOLUTION

 

Thereís a lot of work to be done on this hand, and it can hardly be wrong to play on Diamonds at Trick Two.  West cannot have the A as well as AQJ, and when East wins the A heíll have no good return.  Letís say that he wins and returns a Diamond.  Then cash the third Diamond, and play on Clubs, ruffing the third round on the board.  Now comes the A♠, felling Westís Queen, at which point the hand is cold.  West no doubt started with 1-6-3-3 distribution and the full layout is this (remaining cards are in bold):

 

 

A94
K964
32
KJ
K2

 

Q
AQJT87
976
T95

        North

West             East

        South

♠ KJ53
5
 
A8432
QJ3

 

♠ T8762

QT5
A8764

 

 

In the 5-card end game, East is down to 3 trumps and 2 Diamonds.  The K is played from the board and, whatever East does, Declarer will come to 3 more tricks for a total of 10.

 

Keys to Success

   - Playing on Diamonds and Clubs early

   - Counting West's distribution to be 1-6-3-3, and therefore playing just one round of trumps.

 

Postscript

Note the importance of deducing the West distribution as the hand unfolded.  If Declarer had not been virtually certain that trumps were 4-1, he might have gone wrong by playing a second round of trumps (which would have been the right play if trumps were 3-2).

 

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