Source: IBPA Column Service OCT 2018

Dealer South. Both Vul

A K 5
8 6
7 5 3 2
A J 6 4
Q 9
9 7 2
J 10 9
K 10 9 5 3
J 8 4
Q J 10 5
K Q 6
Q 8 7
10 7 6 3 2
A K 4 3
A 8 4
2
West North East South
1 Pass 1
Pass 1NT Pass 21
Pass 22 Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass
  1. New minor forcing
  2. Three-card spade support without four hearts

West led the jack of diamonds and declarer paused to assess his options. His first observation was that he probably needed trumps to be 3-2.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

Even if they broke favourably and hearts were 4-3, he would still only have nine tricks: four trumps, two hearts, a heart ruff and the minor-suit aces. It was then that he saw the way forward: he needed to make all five of his trumps, his four side-suit winners and a heart ruff to bring his trick total to ten.

At trick two, declarer played a club to the ace, then ruffed a club. After cashing dummy’s ace and king of trumps, declarer ruffed another club. Then came the riskiest part of the plan – he cashed the ace and king of hearts and ruffed a heart. When the five of trumps held up, South had nine tricks – just one short of the contract.

So he led the jack of clubs from dummy, thereby neutralising East’s master jack of trumps. If East had ruffed high declarer would have thrown a heart from hand and would eventually have scored his remaining trump for his tenth trick. In practice, East discarded a diamond, thereby allowing declarer to score his tenth trick by ruffing the jack of clubs.