Reading Eagle – 26 Ago 2005          

1. You are declarer with the West hand at Four Hearts, and North leads the king of clubs. How would you play the hand?

2. You are declarer with the West hand at Three Notrump. and North leads the queen of hearts. Played correctly, you can make the contract regardless of how the North-South cards are divided. How would you proceed?




Ten tricks are easy if the missing trumps are divided 3-2 or either opponent has the singleton jack. The only real danger to the contract is that one of the opponents was dealt the J-x-x-x of trumps, so you should take steps to deal with that possibility. Accordingly, you win the club lead with the ace and ruff the three of clubs at trick two. You then cash the A-K of trumps to find out where you stand in the trump suit If every-one follows twice, you’re home, so let’s suppose North was dealt this hand:    7 6  J 8 6 2   J 5    KQ1052. In that case he’ll wind up taking second money — despite his sure trump trick — because of your foresight in trumping a club at trick two. After next cashing the queen of hearts and A-K of spades. you ruff another club, then play a diamond to the ace followed by a third club ruff. That brings you to 10 tricks, which was your goal from the start, Note that the same line of play also yields 10 tricks if South rather than North started with four trumps.


Win the opening heart lead with the king, play a low club from dummy and finesse the ten! If North wins the trick with the jack which is certainly possible, you have nine sure tricks consisting of five clubs, a spade, two hearts and a diamond. If the ten of clubs wins the trick. whether North follows suit or not, you are equally certain of the contract,  you next lead a low club to dummy’s queen and continue with the ace and another spade, establishing an entry to your hand to cash at least two more club tricks. This method of play guarantees at least four club tricks, two spades, two hearts and a diamond. The unusual club finesse at trick two guards against any possible club division, whether the suit is divided 3-2,4-1 or 5-0.