DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #25

Rubber bridge
South dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ A Q 8 2 ♥ K 7 ♦ Q 10 9 8 ♣ K 8 5 SOUTH ♠ 7 6 5 4 3 ♥ J 8 4 ♦ A K J 6 ♣ 2
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
PassPass1 Pass
1 Pass2 Pass
3 Pass3 NTPass
4 PassPassPass

West leads the club ten: king, ace, deuce. East continues with the club four.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

INFORMATION PLEASE. When West has the heart ace, South can afford to lose a spade trick, but when East has the heart ace declarer must not lose any spade tricks. In order to discover the best way to play spades to meet this shifting objective, declarer should first play hearts. If it turns out there are two heart losers, South should take the best play for no spade losers (a spade to the queen). However, when it turns out that the heart ace is onside, declarer should take the best play for at most one loser in spades. That objective calls for first cashing the spade ace (guarding against singleton king offside), then, if necessary, leading up to the queen later.

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1964 National Industrial Recreation Association Par-Hand Bridge Tournament by William S. Root and Lawrence Rosler.)

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