From 4th November, Board 20
Difficulty * * *
If West had led a Spade it would be 10 easy tricks (you must assume 3-2 Diamonds), but he surprises you with the opening lead of the Heart Five. Can you still make that all-important overtrick?
On the opening trick East plays the ♥K and you duck. Back comes a low Heart, you duck again, and West wins the Queen. Then another Heart to Eastís Jack and Dummy's Ace. You start on the Diamonds, and West pitches a Spade on the third round. You cash the rest of the Diamonds. What next?
It looks very much as if West started life with 7=3=2=1 distribution so itís safe enough to lead the ♠K next. West surely has the ♠A and youíll lose just two Hearts and the ♠A. But West craftily ducks that trick! Now if you play another Spade, West will win and exit a Club, leaving you with a losing Club at Trick 13. No problem! You simply cash the ♣A (removing Westís exit card) and then lead the second Spade. West is down to just Spades and must surrender the last trick to Dummy
That was not such a tough hand, but Declarer still needed to get three things right:
- She had to hold up the ♥A on the first two tricks
- She counted out the West distribution
She cashed the ♣A to extract Westís only safe exit card
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