DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #21

Rubber bridge
East dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ A Q J 10 7 ♥ 7 5 3 ♦ 10 4 ♣ J 10 9 SOUTH ♠ K 2 ♥ K Q J ♦ A K J 9 8 5 ♣ A K
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
Pass
2 Pass2 Pass
3 Pass3 Pass
4 NTPass5 Pass
6 NTPassPassPass

West leads the ten of hearts. East wins the heart ace and shifts to the five of clubs.

Plan the play.

### Solution

 NORTH ♠ A Q J 10 7 ♥ 7 5 3 ♦ 10 4 ♣ J 10 9 WEST ♠ 5 ♥ 10 9 ♦ Q 7 6 ♣ Q 8 7 6 4 3 2 EAST ♠ 9 8 6 4 3 ♥ A 8 6 4 2 ♦ 3 2 ♣ 5 SOUTH ♠ K 2 ♥ K Q J ♦ A K J 9 8 5 ♣ A K

COUP AND COUNT. Before cashing the spades and coming to grips with the diamonds, declarer should cash off his remaining winners in hearts and clubs, plus one high diamond. This procedure reveals the dramatic information that West began with two hearts and seven clubs. Then, when declarer runs spades, it becomes known that West started with one spade. Therefore, West began with three diamonds. Declarer knows that when spades are continued West will be unable to keep both the club queen to guard dummy's jack and both diamonds. Thus, at the end declarer should play a diamond to his remaining high honor, knowing that the queen will drop.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1963 National Intercollegiate Par-Hand Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

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