DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #13

Rubber bridge
West dealer
North-South vulnerable

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

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

ESCHEW THE FINESSE. Declarer's best play is to establish dummy's fifth diamond for the tenth trick. This line will win whenever the diamonds divide three-three or four-two, or when the king is singleton. This is about an 87% chance. Taking the diamond finesse after winning the first round of trumps in dummy will usually succeed when that finesse wins or diamonds are three-three, but this is under 70%. The long-card establishment plan can be seen to be better without any complex complicated calculation.

To make sure that a club shift does not attack a dummy entry prematurely, South should win the first trick. Then, declarer should cash one high spade (if spades divided four-zero, the diamond establishment plan would have to be abandoned in favor of the diamond finesse). Then, South should continue with the ace and queen of diamonds. Upon regaining the lead, declarer uses two of dummy's black-suit entries to lead diamonds, ruffing in the closed hand high enough to avoid an overruff. After trumps have been drawn, declarer can use dummy's last black-suit entry (which may be the third trump) to cash the long diamond.

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

LEARN BRIDGE

Our learning center web pages are dedicated to teaching the game of bridge. There are lessons for first-time players, as well as for those at the elementary and intermediate levels. You can find the appropriate section, and proceed through the lessons.

BEGINNER: Learn how to play bridge if you have never played before. The beginner lessons here are designed for those who know little or nothing about the game.

ELEMENTARY: If you understand the basics of the game, and are ready to proceed further.

INTERMEDIATE: Here is a collection of intermediate-level problems in bidding, declarer play, and defense for you to practice and improve your game.