Source: ORLANDO-FALL NABC 2016-NOV. 24-DIC. 4

Dealer West. N/S Vul

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

With only your side vulnerable, West opens 3, partner passes and East ups the ante to 4. You have no qualms about bidding 5, and everyone passes. The Q is led. Plan the play.

Solution:

The full deal:

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

You are in the dummy for the last time and have to decide whether to lead up to the K or take the club finesse.

Eddie Kantar
Eddie Kantar

The club finesse is much less than 50% because you can’t pick up K-x-x(x) in the East hand. Play the odds and lead a diamond up to the king, a 50% play unless West started with a singleton diamond and didn’t lead it – not too likely as most players lead singletons even when they don’t have one. If the K loses to the ace and today is your lucky day, the K will drop under the ace (13%). You will make this contract about 55% of the time.

Even if you had eight clubs to the A-K-J-10, you should still lead a diamond at trick two as you have a reasonable chance of dropping the Q (a little more than 50%) if the diamond king loses to West’s ace. Two chances are better than one.