From 16th August, 2006, Board 1
Difficulty * * *
Dlr South None Vul
Eastís Double was Responsive, showing the unbid suits.
West leads the K♣, overtaken by Eastís Ace. The J♣ comes next, which you ruff in the closed hand. It looks as if trump control is going to be an issue on this hand, but the good news is that Eastís play in the Club suit suggests that he started with just 2 Clubs, so at least he will be unable to play the forcing game. In addition to that you have several potential losers Ö a Club, probably two trumps, a Heart or two, and maybe a Diamond.
Plan the play.
Clearly, you must rely on a 3-2 trump break to make this one, and there are a couple of plays which can hold the trump losers to just one Ö either lead a low Spade from hand, playing West for Kx or Qx Ö or else lead a trump from the board to the Jack, playing East for Qx or Kx. The trouble with either line of play is that youíll need to draw 3 rounds of trumps, after which there will be no trump left in Dummy to look after that 4th Diamond. So, even if you play Spades successfully for one loser, you are likely to give the trick back later in the play.
The best plan is to resign yourself to two trump losers, and hope that you can lose just one Heart and no Diamonds. Youíll need to lose the first round of trumps, though, to retain control, but, before you do that, you must lose a Heart to East Ö this is a precaution against him getting in later with that Heart and leading a 3rd round of Spades. So, run the 9♥ at Trick 3, win the return, lose a Spade, get back in, cash the A♠, then the AKQ♦, planning to ruff the 4th round on the board if necessary.
At Trick 3, East will win the K♥, and will return a Diamond, won by Declarerís Ace. Next, a low Spade, won by Westís Queen, and a Club back, ruffed by Declarer. Now the A♠ is played, and when trumps break 3-2, the plan succeeds. Itís true that the suggested line of play runs the risk of a red suit ruff by East Ö hopefully, if there is a ruff, it will be at the expense of a natural trump trick.
Keys to Success
- Taking the immediate Heart finesse
- Ducking the first round of trumps in order to retain control
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