Source: IBPA Column Service DIC. 2018

Dealer South. E/W Vul

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

West led the king of clubs. Declarer saw that his prospects were not bright: he had nine winners and four likely losers in the minors. One possibility was that West had both the queen and jack of hearts.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

After a little thought, declarer decided on a better option. He won with the ace of clubs, playing low from hand. He drew trumps with the king and ace and cashed the ace-king of hearts. After ruffing a heart he returned to dummy with a trump to the queen and ruffed dummy’s remaining heart.

He exited with the jack of clubs, taken by West with the queen. As East had signalled that he held an even number of clubs (king for count) and he had discarded a club on the second round of trumps, West shifted to a low diamond. East took this with the ace and returned the eight of diamonds.

Declarer went with the odds and played a low diamond (he reasoned that if East had begun both the ace and king of diamonds he might have played differently in the suit). West had to win the king of diamonds, and so declarer made ten tricks: six trumps, two hearts, the queen of diamonds and the ace of clubs.

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