Source: IBPA Column Service JUL. 2019

IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul

8 3
A Q 8 4 3
K Q 10 7 2
7
K 10 4 2
K 10 6
A 4 3
A K Q
West North East South
1
Pass 1 2 3NT1
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 5 Pass 6NT
Pass Pass Pass

1- 18-19

West led the 5. East took this with the ace and returned the queen of that suit – he did not want to be thrown in later with a spade to lead a diamond. Declarer took the Q with the king and saw that he would always make 12 tricks as long as he could make five tricks in diamonds.

So, declarer led a low diamond to dummy’s king and the two of diamonds back to his ace. West’s discard was an unpleasant, but not unexpected, sight, leaving declarer with the problem of making five heart tricks.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

East had started with six spades and four diamonds. Declarer knew that he could go with the odds and cash the king of hearts and then lead the ten of hearts intending to run it if was not covered – but that would lead to an embarrassing situation if East had been dealt a doubleton heart jack.

Instead, declarer decided to complete the count on East’s hand by cashing his three club winners. After East threw a spade on the third round of clubs, his original shape was known by declarer to be 6=1=4=2.

Accordingly, declarer led the ten of hearts next with the intention of running it if West played low. In practice, West covered with the jack of hearts and the trick was won by dummy’s queen of hearts. Declarer continued with a low heart from dummy to his king then claimed 12 tricks: a spade, five hearts and the six tops in the minors.

You should note that if East had an unlikely singleton in clubs then the hearts would have been 3-2, guaranteeing that declarer could take five tricks in that suit. While this line would have lost to East holding a singleton jack of hearts, it picks up the other four singletons with East. 14 Judging by what happened at the tables, one West thought playing the ten at trick one suggested something in spades.

The complete deal:

8 3
A Q 8 4 3
K Q 10 7 2
7
5
J 9 7 5
9
J 9 8 5 4 3 2
A Q J 9 7 6
2
J 8 6 5
10 6
K 10 4 2
K 10 6
A 4 3
A K Q

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