Plan the Play. Example by Tim Bourke (AUS)

Dealer: East Both Vunerable


 6 2
 Q 6 4   
 K Q 6 5
 A K 7 5 




 Q 8 3    
 A 10 9      
 10 9 
 J 9 6 3 2


 K J 10 9 7 4
 K 5 
 J 8 7 3 


 A 5
 J 8 7 3 2
 A 4 2
 Q 10 8


The Bidding:
















Contract: 4

Lead: 3

West led 3 to East’s K and declarer’s A. As there was a spade loser, declarer needed to avoid three losers in the trump suit.

Usually, with such a trump suit, declarer seeks to guess which defender holds a doubleton honour; he then leads through that putative honour holding, intending to duck on the second round.

On this deal, East can be expected to hold six spades to West’s three. Accordingly, East is by far the favourite to hold a doubleton trump honour.

While declarer could have crossed to dummy in one of the minor suits to lead a low heart through the
East hand, he saw this would slightly increase the risk of a defensive minor-suit ruff.

Declarer proved that possibility was not one he needed to worry about; he led the J from
his hand at trick two! If this ran to East’s king, declarer would have been able to lead towards dummy’s queen on the next round of trumps.

At the table, West stepped up with the ace on the first round. After cashing the Q, West exited with a diamond, taken by declarer with the ace to play another trump.

Sticking with his original plan, he ducked the next round of trumps, bringing down East’s king, thereby restricting his losers in the trump suit to two. He made a spade, three trumps and six tricks in the minors.

By ferlema