DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #26

Rubber bridge
South dealer
East-West vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ 8 7 ♥ J 8 3 ♦ K 7 5 4 3 2 ♣ 9 2 SOUTH ♠ K 9 3 ♥ A K 9 ♦ A J 8 6 ♣ A 10 5
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
1 Pass2 Pass
3 NTPassPassPass

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

CLEAR THE TRACK. South cannot stand a spade shift, and so must win the first trick. If diamonds are two-one, South has nine easy tricks. If West has all three missing diamonds, the contract cannot be made. The only case at issue is East's holding all three missing diamonds. As a precaution against that lie of the cards, South should begin diamonds by leading the eight to dummy's king. If West show out, declarer will be able to finesse against East's queen, cash the other high diamond, and use the diamond six to return to dummy to cash the balance of the suit. Wasting the diamond six on the first round of diamonds would block the suit.

(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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