The Plan X by Tim Bourke (AUS)

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

IMPs;  Dealer South; All Vulnerables

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

The Auction:

West   North    East   South  
Pass  2 Pass 2NT
Pass  3NT Pass Pass

Contract: 3NT

Lead: J

West led the J after this straightforward auction. Declarer counted six top tricks. He saw that unless there were a singleton or doubleton A, he would make only two tricks in the diamond suit; otherwise the defender with the A would take it only on the third round of the suit.

So, declarer had only eight certain tricks. The one chance for a ninth trick outside of diamonds was in clubs. Any approach would do if clubs proved to break 3-3. Declarer saw that there was  an extra chance available in the suit if he ducked a club at trick two.

East took the trick with the 9 and returned a spade to declarer’s A. Now declarer cashed the and was please to see the Q fall on his left.

Declarer’s next move was to play the K, which was allowed to hold. A diamond to the Q won and declarer now led dummy’s remaining club towards his jack-six.

East rose with the K and declarer’s J was then his ninth trick.