IBPA Column Service example 838

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

West began with the ace, king and queen of spades. Declarer counted ten tricks: four in trumps, four in diamonds and two in clubs. He saw that the main danger was West’s having two diamonds and four hearts to the jack.

If that were the case, and declarer played three top trumps, West would ruff the third diamond and the contract would go down, declarer being left with a club loser and no way to get rid of it.

Dealer South. Both Vul.

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

The Auction:

West North East South
1 Double Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

Declarer’s initial idea to cater for that possibility was to lead the ten of trumps. After a moment’s further thought he decided to keep the prospect of an overtrick alive by crossing to the dummy with a J and then leading the 2 to his ten.

If the ten had held he would made an overtrick as long as the trumps were divided no worse than 4-2. On this layout, however, West took the 10 with the J and played a hopeful fourth round of spades.

Declarer ruffed this on table with the 9 and discarded the five of clubs from hand. After crossing back to hand with a club to his ace, declarer drew the outstanding trumps and claimed ten tricks.