Dealer South All Vul.
J 9 8 A K J 8 6 4 A 7 6 2
6 3 2 6 5 A 10 9 2 K Q J 10 7 5 Q 10 9 4 Q J 8 9 5 4 3
A K Q 10 4 7 3 2 K 7 5 3 8
The Auction:
West North East South
Pass 2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass
Contract: 4 Lead: K
Philip Alder
Philip Alder
Last September; I stopped off in London for a few days, on my way home from the World Bridge Championships. While there I was shown today’s deal by Tony Priday, one of the britain’s best players ever. It epitomizes the importance of counting. How would you try to win 10 tricks in spades against the club king lead? North’s three-spade rebid following his initial two over-one response, is game-forcing and shows three-cards support. Most players would win the first trick with dummy’s club ace and immediately play a diamond to the king. However, West wins with the ace and switches to a trump. When the hearts break badly, the contract dies. A little unlucky. It’s true, but the key to success is counting to 10. You have three side-suit tricks: the A K of hearts and the club ace. So if you can generate seven trump tricks, you are home. Is that feasible? Of course It Is. There are three top trumps in the dummy so you need to take four ruffs in hand. Start  tout the suite by ruffing a club at trick two. Play a heart to dummy’s king and ruff a club high. Repeat the process, playing a heart to dummy’s ace and ruffing a club high. Then exit with your third heart. East wins and returns a trump. After overtaking your 10 with dummy’s Jack, ruff the heart Jack in hand. You have taken the necessary four ruffs, and the two high trumps remaining in the dummy give you 10 tricks in all.
Any time you see very strong trumps in the dummy consider a dummy reversal.