Test: Setting Trick I

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Partner leads H9, likely top of 3 small, since she has raised hearts. You win…

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Source: http://www.vba.asn.au/

Problem 1:aaxx

K and look for the source of your 4th trick.

Problem 2:aaxxYou lead K, won by dummy’s A, partner following 3 and declarer 7. Declarer plays to Q then A (partner 3) and follows with a spade to Q (partner 7). How are you going to defend?

Solutions

Problem 1:aaxxThe setting trick won’t be in trumps! So two hearts and a club you know about, and you need one in spades before declarer has a heart winner for a discard (You know he has no more than two spades, else would have supported.) Switch to 9. Your heart trick isn’t going away.

Problem 2:aaxxWhen you win this you can follow with one of: a trump, a spade, Q or J. Pause for a moment to think about declarer’s handshape. If he started with 7 spades there is no defence. So 6412 – you know the diamond was singleton from partner’s count-card. Declarer had 4 tricks in hearts, 5 in spades and 2 aces. But if you return anything but a SPADE he can contrive a 12th trick by dummy reversal, trumping a diamond high and finessing against your 10. Returning a spade cuts an essential line of communication.

There is another, spectacular, way to break this contract – duck Q.

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