DEFENSIVE PROBLEM #3

South dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH (dummy) ♠ 9 8 7 ♥ A 8 6 3 ♦ A 8 7 2 ♣ K J EAST (you) ♠ Q J 10 5 ♥ Q J 10 ♦ J 9 5 ♣ A Q 6
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass3 *Pass
4 PassPassPass

*forcing

Club five, jack, queen, nine.
Club ace, heart deuce, deuce, king.
Heart four, seven, ace, ten.
Heart three, jack, king, club three.
Heart five, club seven, heart six, queen.

What now?

### Solution

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

USELESS RUFF-SLUFF. East is faced with the crucial defensive play after winning the third lead of hearts and cashing his spade trick. The lead of a spade or a club, even though it gives declarer a sluff and a ruff, will surely defeat the contract. In contrast, if East leads any diamond, declarer can make the game. The key to determining the correct play is for East to count the suit distribution and calculate that South started with a four-card diamond suit; in that case, a sluff and a ruff cannot possibly hurt the defense. Declarer's hand can be counted as follows: South followed suit to three spade tricks and showed out on the second round of clubs. West showed out on the second lead of hearts. Therefore, South started with three spades, one club, five hearts and, consequently, four diamonds.

(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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