Problem # 256  

 

                                          From                   4th November, Board 20

                                          Difficulty            * * *

                                          Both Vul

 

♠ QJ6
A98
76
♣ JT865

 

         North

West             East

       Declarer

West    North   East     South

3♠        Pass    Pass    3NT

Pass    Pass    Pass

 

♠ K5
T73
AKQ852
♣ A2

 

        

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? 

 

SOLUTION

 

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

 

 

♠ QJ6
A98
76
♣ JT865

 

♠ AT97432
Q65
 J9
♣ 3

        North

West             East

       Declarer

♠ 8
KJ42
T43
♣ KQ974

 

♠ K5
T73
AKQ852
♣ A2

 

 

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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