DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #18

Rubber bridge
South dealer
Both sides vulnerable

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

West leads the king of diamonds.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

LOSER ON LOSER. Several lines of play are plausible; they are listed here in order of merit:

(A) Win the ace of diamonds, draw trumps, cash ace-king clubs, then lead the jack of diamonds, discarding a club. (The point of this play is that West must win the queen of diamonds and yield a spade trick to the king or a sluff-and-ruff.)

(B) Follow lines (A) but discard a spade on the jack of diamonds. (Not as good, since West might have a third club.)

(C) Follow line (A) but discard the jack of diamonds without first cashing the ace and king of clubs. (This might let West retain a safe exit in clubs.)

(D) Duck the first trick, win the diamond continuation (discarding a club), draw trumps, cash ace-king of clubs and ruff. (This line fails against a bad break in clubs, as in the diagram.)

(E) Win the ace of diamonds, draw trumps, cash ace-king of clubs, ruff the jack of diamonds, and lead a club towards dummy's jack. (Also fails against a bad club break, or when West has three small clubs.)

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

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