DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #5

Rubber bridge
North dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ Q 5 3 2 ♥ J ♦ A K J 9 ♣ A J 7 5 SOUTH ♠ J 9 ♥ A Q 8 2 ♦ 7 4 3 2 ♣ K Q 3
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass
1 Pass1 Pass
2 NTPass3 NTPass
PassPass

West leads the seven of spades to East's ace. East returns the four of spades to West's king. West continues with the spade ten; East discards the three of hearts.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

THROW-IN AT NOTRUMP. Counting the queen of spades, South has eight sure winners. The best play for the ninth trick is in the diamond suit; declarer should cash one of dummy's high diamonds (guarding against a singleton queen), lead to the closed hand with a club, and play a second diamond towards dummy. If West follows to the second diamond lead, South can make the contract by finessing into the East hand. When West shows out on the second diamond lead, South must change plans: go up with the remaining high diamond in dummy, cash, then endplay West by leading dummy's remaining spade. West can cash the rest of the spades, but then must give South the last two tricks by leading into the major heart tenace. To keep this endplay in sight, declarer must win dummy's queen of spades at trick three.

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

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