Dealer North E/W Vul
A Q 3 2 A 8 7 4 Q J 9 7 5
Q J 10 5 4 10 6 3 2 A 8 6 3 K 7 6 4 A 8 7 2 K Q J 9 2
J 10 9 8 5 K 9 6 3 5 K 10 4
West North East South
1 Dbl 1
3 3 4 4
Pass Pass Dbl Pass
Pass Pass
West led the queen of hearts. Declarer threw a diamond from dummy and East took the trick with the ace of hearts to shift to the two of clubs. West won with the ace and returned a club; East ruffed, and the king of trumps meant the contract was down one. Declarer’s complaints about his bad luck fell on deaf ears. “On the opening lead, you can place East with the ace of hearts,” said North. “You should win the trick by ruffing in dummy and playing on clubs. If West ducks his ace, you continue with a second club.” “Suppose West gives East a club ruff after winning the ace of clubs at trick two. East can do no better than exit with the king of diamonds. You win with the ace of diamonds and play the queen of trumps. You have to keep the ace of trumps intact at this point, otherwise you will not be able to ruff a second heart in dummy for your game-going trick. Suppose East takes this trick with the king of trumps. He can try to cash a diamond or lead a second trump. Either way, you would be able to ruff another heart in the dummy. You’d make ten tricks: four trumps in hand, two heart ruffs in dummy, one diamond and three clubs.” South asked, “Can your plan survive a red-suit shift after West wins the ace of clubs?” “If West exits with a heart, you discard a diamond from dummy and would be in full control. A diamond exit is no better: you win with the ace of diamonds and play the ace and queen of trumps and, if the latter holds, you would play the three of trumps next.” “You would always make four trumps, a heart ruff, the ace of diamonds and four clubs on a red-suit shift from West.”