Dealer: South, E/W Vul.

A 8 7
A J 10 9 4 3

K J 10 2
2
K 2
K 10 6 5 3 2
A Q 6 4
West North East South
1
1 2 2 3
Pass 6 Pass Pass
Pass

Opening lead: 7

West leads the seven of trumps. What is the best way to make twelve tricks?

SOLUTION:

The best plan is to win the trump in hand with ace then to cash the ace of spades and ruff a spade. Then cross back to dummy with a low trump to the ten. When trumps reveal themselves to be 3-2 you can take some measure to protect against hearts being 4-1. Suppose the full deal is:

A 8 7
A J 10 9 4 3

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

Then you ruff dummy’s last spade with the queen of trumps. Next you lead the king of hearts and overtake it with the ace to draw the opponents last trump with the king.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

All that remains is to force out the queen of hearts by leading the highest heart remaining in dummy until that job is done. Eventually East wins the queen of hearts, but you ruff his exit and run the remaining hearts from the top. You make a spade, two spade ruffs, five hearts and four trumps for a total of twelve tricks.

If trumps prove to be 4-1 you need West to hold the queen of hearts no more than three times. So when in dummy with the ten of trumps, draw the outstanding trumps with the king and jack, then play on hearts and hope for the best.