DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #24

Rubber bridge
South dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ A 9 2 ♥ A 7 5 ♦ K J 8 7 3 ♣ 4 3 SOUTH ♠ K Q 3 ♥ Q J 6 ♦ 10 9 2 ♣ A Q J 2
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 1 2 Pass
2 NTPass3 NTPass
PassPass

West leads the heart ten.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP. South has two heart stoppers whether one of them is used at the first trick or not (since West's bid marks the heart king). But there is a difference. If declarer wins the first trick and hearts are split five-two, East will have a heart to return upon gaining the lead in diamonds. In contrast, a hold-up play at trick one (a familiar maneuver when the two stoppers are the ace and king, but it works the same way here) ensures the contract. If West continues hearts at trick two, East will have no heart to lead when in with the queen of diamonds. Note that if the play starts heart ten allowed to hold, a heart to the jack, a diamond to the queen, and a club shift, declarer should rise with the club ace to prevent West from establishing diamonds before the diamond ace is dislodged.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1964 National Industrial Recreation Association Par-Hand Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

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