DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #50

Rubber bridge
North dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ 9 3 2 ♥ A K Q ♦ Q 8 7 6 ♣ A K Q SOUTH ♠ A Q J 10 8 ♥ 10 6 4 3 ♦ A ♣ 8 6 5
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass
1 Pass2 NTPass
3 Pass4 Pass
5 Pass5 NTPass
6 PassPassPass

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

CHERRY SQUASH. Declarer should win the club shift in dummy and draw trumps, leading the nine of spades to keep the lead in dummy for a repeat finesse. The next order of business is to try to drop a short king of diamonds in an opponent's hand: diamond ace, club to dummy, diamond ruff, heart to dummy, leaving:

 NORTH ♠ — ♥ A ♦ Q 8 ♣ A SOUTH ♠ Q ♥ 10 6 ♦ — ♣ 8

As the cards lie, declarer gets a complete count of the East-West hands on the second round of clubs. With or without that assistance, South should cash dummy's ace of clubs in the four-card ending. Then, if West keeps two hearts, declarer ruffs a diamond (which will drop the king if West started with that card); otherwise, declarer can cash the heart ace and the closed hand is high.

(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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