DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #39

Rubber bridge
East dealer
Both sides vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ A 5 3 ♥ J 5 ♦ A J 9 7 6 2 ♣ K Q SOUTH ♠ Q 6 ♥ A 10 7 2 ♦ K 5 4 ♣ 10 9 4 3
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
Pass
Pass1 2 Pass
3 Pass3 Pass
3 NTPassPassPass

Plan the play.

Solution

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

FIRST THINGS FIRST. After winning the first trick with the spade queen, South should lead a club. If the diamond suit runs, there will be no problem. Otherwise, a club trick will be needed. In that case, because declarer has only one more spade stopper, it is essential to knock out West's known club entry first. Then, declarer can hold up on the second spade lead, set up diamonds by finessing into the East hand, and thus prevent West from running spades. If, instead, declarer loses a trick in diamonds first, a spade continuation will set the contract. If West ducks the club lead, preserving his entry, declarer can turn to diamonds.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1964 National Intercollegiate Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

LEARN BRIDGE

Our learning center web pages are dedicated to teaching the game of bridge. There are lessons for first-time players, as well as for those at the elementary and intermediate levels. You can find the appropriate section, and proceed through the lessons.

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