Hand of the day #33

The Aces On Bridge by Bobby Wolff

Looking at all four hands on this deal from a training session, should three no-trump succeed on the club 10 lead? For a bonus point, what if declarer traded his heart five for East’s six?

Opening Lead: ♣10

At the table declarer won the club jack and played on diamonds. West won the third diamond, East pitching a spade as South let go a heart. West switched to the heart nine, covered by the queen and king. Declarer ducked, then ducked again on East’s heart jack continuation. Declarer finessed the heart eight on the third round, discarding a spade from dummy, and could no longer make the hand. He needed the spade jack onside, but it was not to be.

Declarer could have succeeded at the end, by keeping all of dummy’s spades then cashing his clubs. East would have to hold three spades and therefore discard a heart, whereupon declarer could cash the heart ace, discarding dummy’s last diamond, and play a spade to the king to endplay East.

However, this would not have been possible if West had taken the second diamond. Declarer could win the second heart and return the heart eight, but East would just duck, then play small if declarer tempted him by leading the spade queen. So, the defense can always succeed after the club lead, but swap the heart five and heart six and declarer can make it! He takes East’s heart jack with the ace and knocks out the heart 10 (ducking is no good this time). South can then cash hearts and play a spade to the king.


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3 comments on “Hand of the day #33”

  1. At the table, I bid 2S; maybe nobody will notice. On BBO, 2S is not in the bidding box, so I'll have to pass. The stiff heart is a ruffing value and may provide the 8th trick.

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