On many hands declarer can count sufficient tricks for his contract but his difficulty lies in being at the right place at the right time. In a word, he has entry trouble.

Dealer South All Vul

6 5 4 3
K 10 8 6 2
A 5
10 7
K Q 10 7
J 7 5 4
7 4 3
6 2
9 4
9 3
Q J 10 6
Q J 9 8 4
A J 8
A Q
K 9 8 2
A K 6 3
West North East South
2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 3NT Pass Pass
Pass

Opening Lead: K

West’s opens theK, East plays the4 and South the8. The hold up in this situation has the added advantage that it leaves declarer with a major tenace, the A-J against Q-10, so that West cannot continue the suit without giving up an extra trick.

Terence Reese
Terence Reese

From his partner’s play of the 4 West judges that South had the A-J, so he switches to a diamond. South plays low from dummy and heads the10 with theK.

Outside the heart suit declarer has five top tricks and little chance of making any more than that. His problem is therefore clear cut: how to make four tricks from the hearts.

The obvious play is to lay down A Q, then cross to A and lead theK. That play will succeed if the hearts are 3-3 or if theJ is doubleton. Leading theA and overtaking theQ provides an extra chance that of finding the doubleton 9.

South gives up a trick to the Jack and makes the last two hearts when he enters dumy with theA.