Source: IBPA Column Service DIC. 2019

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

**Source: wikipedia. Tim Bourke “is an Australian bridge player and writer. His joint project with Justin Corfield “the Art of Declarer Play” won the International Bridge Press Book of the Year award in 2014.

IMPs Dealer South. E/W Vul

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

Three notrump promised three-card spade support with at least one king.

West led the Q, which held the trick when declarer called for a low card from dummy. Declarer played low from dummy for a second time when West continued with the J. Declarer faced a decision when a third heart was played.

From this moment on what would be your plan?

If he ruffed with the eight of trumps then played ace, king and a third diamond (planning to ruff a diamond in dummy with the ten of spades), then the contract would depend on the club finesse. Instead, declarer decided to rely on trumps being 3-2 and the minor suits not behaving badly.

He ruffed the third round of hearts with the jack of trumps, cashed the ace of trumps and then placed the queen of clubs on the table. West took this with king and exited with a club to declarer’s ace. Declarer continued by cashing the king of trumps. When the suit was revealed to be 3-2, declarer drew the remaining defensive trump by  playing the eight of trumps to dummy’s ten.

Declarer could then claim two more club tricks: he had scored five trumps, two diamonds and three clubs.

There are a couple of points of interest. If declarer had drawn two rounds of trumps, then played the ace and queen of clubs, West would have defeated the contract on the above layout.

After winning his king of clubs, he would have played a third club which East would have ruffed, leaving declarer with a diamond loser.

Finally, if the queen of clubs had held, declarer’s fallback plan was to play the ace, king and another diamond, in the hope of ruffing a diamond in dummy if necessary. Assuming trumps broke 3-2, declarer’s line of play would have failed only against 6-1 clubs or 5-1 diamonds.

The complete deal:

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

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