DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #48

Rubber bridge
South dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ K J 8 7 ♥ A K 7 5 ♦ 7 2 ♣ J 4 2 SOUTH ♠ A Q 10 9 5 ♥ 4 ♦ A 4 3 ♣ Q 6 5 3
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass2 NT*Pass
3 **Pass3 Pass
4 PassPassPass

* strong raise
** shortness

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

PITCH THE WINNER. Declarer has four potential losers: one diamond and three clubs. If the opponents lead clubs, the threat of a third club loser will be removed. When trumps break, two-two, South can achieve such a position by drawing trumps, stripping the North-South hands of the red suits, and exiting in diamonds. To make a diamond lead unsafe for the opponents, declarer should discard a diamond on dummy's second heart winner. Therefore, South should play diamond ace, one high trump, heart ace-king (discarding a diamond), heart ruff, trump to dummy, heart ruff, diamond.) If trumps do not break favorably, declarer can play clubs himself, hoping for a favorable position--either ace-king together or a particular defender with a doubleton honor or ace-king.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1965 National Intercollegiate Bridge Tournament by William S. Root, Lawrence Rosler and Jeff Rubens.)

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