The Plan XXX by Tim Bourke

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West began the defence with the ace of hearts. He followed that up with the king of hearts in an attempt to attack declarer’s trump control.

By Tim Bourke
On 23 December, 2016 At 12:51

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IBPA Column Service example 835

Dealer North. E/O Vul.

 Q 6 4
 8 7 5
 A K Q
 J 10 5 2
 10 9 8 2
 A K J 3 2
 4 3
 A Q
   5
 10 9 6 4
 7 5 2
 9 8 7 6 4
 A K J 7 3
 Q
 J 10 9 8 6
 K 3

The Auction:

  West North East     South
 —  1 Pass     1
 2  Double* Pass     4
 Pass  Pass Pass

* 3 card support for spades

West began the defence with the ace of hearts. He followed that up with the king of hearts in an attempt to attack declarer’s trump control.

Declarer saw that, if spades were 3-2, he would have ten tricks on the back of five tricks in both spades and diamonds. In that case, after ruffing the second heart and drawing trumps, declarer would cash dummy’s diamonds and try for an overtrick by leading a club.

Alas, this was not to be. After ruffing the second heart and seeing that all followed to the ace of trumps, declarer played a low trump to dummy’s queen.

The bad news came when East discarded a heart. The 4-1 trump break was a nuisance because he could not draw the rest of trumps without losing control of the deal.

(If he did so, he could do no better than cash dummy’s diamonds and lead a club. Then defence would take the A and cash three heart tricks.)

So, declarer abandoned trumps for the moment to cash dummy’s ace and king of diamonds. He was relieved to see that West had at least two diamonds.

Declarer now played a trump to his king then drew West’s remaining trump with the jack, discarding the Q from dummy.

Declarer had taken seven tricks and was then able to claim three diamond tricks to make his contract.

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