Instructions: Click on the link (the number of a deal) and after the movie appears, click on “Next” to have the opening lead. You can then click on “Play” and play the hand for yourself or by following my notes.
West takes his Ace and returns the Jack.
You have 8 tricks, three hearts, three clubs and two diamonds.
If you cover the Jack with your Queen, an experienced East will duck, preserving communication with West.
If you then try to knock out West’s Ace of hearts (you need it to be there), West will lead his third spade and East will run off four spades.
Now, let’s see what would happen if you duck the trick.
Having five combined cards in the suit, you should duck twice in order to eliminate West’s holding in the suit.
Your Queen of spades (or 10) should give you your ninth trick.
Nine tricks are yours.
If clubs are 2-2, the opening lead being from 10-8, all will be well.
After drawing trumps, you will be able to set up the clubs and discard a spade for an overtrick.
How can you survive the more likely situation where the 10 is a singleton?
If you cover with dummy’s Jack, trying to force an honor from North, North will be left with two club winners.
If you play a small club from dummy at trick one, you will go down if you win the Ace.
North will be again left with two club winners.
When he wins the first of these, he will switch to spades and the defenders will then score four tricks.
An avoidance play is needed to prevent North from a convenient spade switch.
You must play low from dummy on the first trick and allow South’s 10 to win!
South’s only safe switch is a trump.
You can win, draw trumps in two more rounds and then play the Ace and another club.
North can switch to spades, but it would be too late and you will be able to discard your spade loser on the fifth round of clubs.
Playing dummy’s Jack would be a mistake.
When you play the clubs, East will duck, letting West win and lead a heart through your Q-6.
When you play a second round of clubs, East will win and grab his heart winners.
You must hope that the Ace and King of clubs are split so that East will have only one entry.
And the key is to play a low heart from dummy on the first trick and concede the trick.
East can’t gain by continuing the suit so let’s say he shifts to a diamond.
As earlier, if you cover, West should let the Queen win.
When you play a club, West will duck, letting East win his Ace.
East will win and play a diamond through your Q-4.
You must again duck in both hands, since you face the same position in diamonds.
West can’t continue the suit beneficially and must shift.
All they can win is two club tricks.
There is no reason to duck trick one when you can discard the club loser on a spade winner.
You should draw two rounds of trumps with the King and Queen, in order to be in the right place for a diamond lead.
You cannot afford to draw all the trumps, since this will leave you with no protection in clubs if a diamond has to be conceded.
You must therefore attempt to set up the diamonds before drawing more trumps.
The dangerous case is when South has a singleton diamond.
If you simply play the Ace and King of the suit, South will ruff the second honor and you will lose a further trick on the third round of diamonds.
To protect your second diamond honor from an adverse ruff, you must use the avoidance play of leading towards it at the key moment.
Cash the Ace of diamonds at trick four and play three rounds of spades, throwing your club loser.
Then lead a second round of diamonds towards your hand.
If South ruffs, it will be the only trick for his side.
You will follow with a low diamond and claim the remainder.
If instead South declines to ruff, you will win with the King and surrender a third round of the suit to North.
You must ruff with the Ace in order to keep flexibility.
Now you can enter dummy with a trump to draw South’s remaining.
Time to claim the contract!
South leads the 9 of diamonds and North cashes three winners in the suit, South discards a heart on the third round.
Obeying that rule of ruffing loser in the short hand, you ruff the fourth diamond in your hand.
You then run the Queen of trumps for a finesse.
When the Queen holds, you run a second round of trumps, discovering the bad news.
Unabling to repeat the finesse, you will go one down.
You should ask yourself why at all North is trying to attempt you to ruff in dummy.
This is a clear sign of having the King of trump protected. Why otherwise should he?
You have no useful discard on the fourth round of diamonds, so you should focus on the trump suit itself.
By ruffing the fourth diamond in the long trump hand you retain dummy’s trump length so that you can hunt North’s trump King even though he has a four-card holding.
Enter your hand with the Ace of clubs and run the Queen of trumps and a second trump to dummy’s 10.
South discards but you can re-enter your hand with the Queen of hearts and lead a third trump, finessing again to avoid losing a trump trick.
Rules are made to be broken, and on this occasion it was length in the short trump hand that needed to be preserved in order to keep control of the suit.
First things first, you should ruff the opening lead rather than taking the Ace. We will see the reason shortly.
Then you draw the outstanding trumps, ending in your hand..
Next, you should play the 6 of hearts from your hand, catching West in a Morton’s Fork coup.
If West plays his Ace, you would have three winners to take care of your diamond losers (the Ace of clubs and the Queen-Jack of spades).
And if West ducks, you will win the Queen and the King will disappear on the Ace of clubs.
It is now a simple matter to concede a diamond and ruff two diamonds in dummy.