DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #20

Rubber bridge
West dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ Q 3 ♥ A K J 5 3 ♦ Q 9 5 ♣ Q J 4 SOUTH ♠ J 7 5 2 ♥ Q 7 6 4 2 ♦ K 3 ♣ A 8
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 DoublePass
3 Pass4 Pass
PassPass

West leads the king, ace and nine of spades; East plays the ten and four.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

DELAY THE DISCARD. To assure the contract, assuming only that the opening bidder holds the ace of diamonds, declarer must ruff the third spade lead with a heart honor in dummy, cash one high heart from dummy, lead a heart to the queen, then lead the three of diamonds. This play (sometimes called a Morton's Fork Coup because it gives the defender an unpleasant choice) succeeds because if West goes up with the ace of diamonds declarer can discard the losing club on the queen of diamonds, while if West ducks the diamond declarer can win the diamond queen, lead a trump back to the closed hand, cash the jack of spades to discard a diamond from dummy, and lead the king to endplay West.

(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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