Source: IBPA Column Service

IMPs Dealer South Neither Vul

A 10 8 7 6 3
8 3 2
K 4
K 4
K 9 5 2
K 7 4
A 9 8 3
A Q
West North East South
1NT
Pass 4* Pass 4
Pass Pass Pass

* Texas transfer to Spades

Contract: 4

Opening Lead: J

You take the opening lead with the Q and play the A and K of trumps, East turning up with a winner.

Can you avoid three heart losers when the ace of hearts is offside?

You continue with the K and A and ruff a diamond in the dummy. You return to your hand with the A and lead your last diamond, West producing the Q. What now? If you ruff this trick, you will have to lead a heart yourself.

East will rise with the jack, to prevent you from inserting the seven to endplay West. The defenders will then claim three heart tricks to beat your game. Instead, you should discard a heart from dummy on the fourth round of diamonds.

West is left on lead and must either lead a heart or give you a ruff-and-discard. It would not help East to ruff his partner’s diamond winner, of course, since you would then lose just one trump and two hearts.

The complete deal:

A 10 8 7 6 3
8 3 2
K 4
K 4

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