DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #7

Rubber bridge
South dealer
East-West vulnerable

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

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

SAVE THE ENTRY. South must discard his losing spade on dummy's king of hearts before knocking out the ace of diamonds. However, if he draws three rounds of trumps during this process, a four-one break in diamonds will leave declarer short an entry. For example, if the play began spade ace, club ace-king, heart ace, club jack, heart king (spade pitch), diamond, the defenders could win the ace of diamonds and force out the last trump from the closed hand by leading a spade or a heart--if diamonds broke four-one, declarer could not run the suit.

Instead, the play should go as follows: Spade ace, heart ace, a club to dummy's jack, the king of hearts to discard the five of spades; now declarer should lead one more round of trumps, then start diamonds. As the cards lie, East wins with the ace and leads a major; South trumps, leads a diamond to the remaining high diamond in dummy (protecting against a defender's holding a singleton diamond with only two trumps, losing nothing if diamonds break three-two), and gets back to the closed hand with the last high club to run the rest of the diamond suit and make the slam. If, during this process, the defenders are able to get a diamond ruff, declarer could not have made the contract by drawing trumps (because of the bad dimaond break).

(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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