DEFENSIVE PROBLEM #21

Rubber bridge
North dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH (dummy) ♠ K J 8 ♥ 8 7 5 ♦ Q J 10 9 8 ♣ J 9 WEST (you) ♠ 10 9 ♥ Q 9 4 3 ♦ K 7 6 ♣ A Q 7 5
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
PassPass
1 Pass2 Pass
2 NTPass3 Pass
4 PassPassPass

Spade ten, eight, deuce, ace.

Spade four, nine, king, three.

Diamond queen, three, four, ?

### Solution

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

MAKE IT EASY. On the bidding, East can have only one ace or king. The defense has no chance unless that card is an ace, and it is most likely (in view of South's two-notrump bid) that it is the ace of hearts. Therefore, after taking the king of diamonds, West should lead a high heart, the nine, to tell East to shift to clubs. If West leads a low heart, East may play West for king-tripleton of hearts and return a heart.

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

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