DECLARER PLAY PROBLEM #40

Rubber bridge
West dealer
Neither side vulnerable

 NORTH ♠ K Q 4 ♥ 10 9 6 4 ♦ K Q 9 ♣ 10 4 2 SOUTH ♠ A 5 3 ♥ K 5 ♦ A 10 8 7 6 5 ♣ 8 7
SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
PassPass1
1 Pass2 2
3 PassPass3
Pass4 4 Pass
PassPass

West leads the club three. East plays the club queen, king and ace; West follows with the six and jack.

Plan the play.

### Solution

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

STITCH IN TIME. From the bidding and West's early club plays, South knows it is safe to trump the third club low. Declarer intends to draw trumps, then to lead towards the heart king for the tenth trick. Only a four-zero trump split can cause any problem. To cope with this possibility, declarer should lead a low diamond to an honor in dummy. Then, when East shows out, declarer should play a heart from dummy, setting up the king and establishing a safe reentry to the closed hand to finesse against the jack of diamonds. If East ducks, declarer wins the heart king, two diamonds in dummy, the spade ace, another high trump; if East takes the heart ace, the only troublesome return is a club--declarer can ruff in hand and has a counter to any move West makes.

If, after winning the first trump in dummy, declarer returns to the ace of spades, finesses the nine of diamonds, cashes the remaining high diamond in dummy, and leads towards the king of hearts, East can win and play a fourth round of clubs to promote a trump trick for West. (Declarer could survive by not cashing the high trump in dummy before leading a heart, but there is no need to take even the tiny risk in that line of play.)

(Based on a deal and analysis from the 1964 National Intercollegiate 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.