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.
You hope spades split 3-3 and lead out 3 rounds.
The third round gets ruffed low by East and you must overruff.
Back to dummy with the Ace of clubs, playing a fourth round of spades hoping East had a singleton trump.
No luck. East ruffs again and you overruff again.
Now the only trump outstanding is the Ace so you can return to dummy with a club ruff and lead out the fifth spade, throwing your diamond loser.
North overtakes the King of clubs and you duck. North then returns the 10, indicating a doubleton.
You can try to play two rounds of trump and ruff your third club, but it will fail if North has three spades to the Jack or ten.
Whenever it looks like you will be overruffed, shift your ruff to another suit by throwing a loser on a loser.
Here you need to lead your third club and discard a heart from dummy.
Now you can ruff your third heart and not worry about North overruffing.
Say you win trick one.
Then you lead the Queen of diamonds.
North should duck so the trick goes to South’s King and South leads a second round of hearts, setting up North’s suit.
North later gets in with his Ace of diamonds and runs the hearts.
The same would happen if you hold up once and win the second round of hearts.
You need to set up the diamond suit, knowing that South probably has the Ace or King (You can’t make the contract if North has both and if both in South, it would not matter which line you choose).
Deal three: take two
In order to take all chances, you should hold up twice on the hearts and only then take the third heart.
Now when diamonds are led, South will have no hearts left.
The bottom line is that when you get a lead into a suit headed by two stoppers, and you have to lose twice to the defenders in order to establish your tricks, hold up twice.
Suppose you play low from dummy, as seems natural. Now you must decide how to tackle the trumps.
Trying to enter dummy for the finesse, exposes you to a potential club ruff.
However, playing spades from your hand is fraught with danger too.
West may have three trumps including the King together with a singleton club, as here.
If you follow the rule and play a low club at trick one, you would suffer a one trick set.
As the cards lie here, you would lose the King of spades, two diamonds and a club ruff.
For your game to be made, you need the King of spade onside.
If that is the case, you should appreciate that you don’t need a third club winner. You can only discard a long diamond on it, and that will become a winner anyway.
Go up with the Ace of clubs at trick one and lead the Queen of spades.
If the Queen wins, then you can repeat the finesse and later give up two diamonds, so making eleven tricks.
Not playing low in second seat puts you in the right place for the next lead.
If you knew which defender had which missing Ace, you could win with the Jack of spade and knock out East’s entry.
In this hand, however, you do not know which minor suit to play first.
For instance, if you guess wrongly and play clubs first, West will win and play a second spade.
East will play the 7, forcing your Ace. And then, when you switch to diamonds, East will win his Ace and grab three spade tricks.
So you must find another solution — one that cuts the defenders’ communications.
If you decide to let West’s Eight of spades win, then you may find yourself on the wrong track.
Unhappily for you, an astute West will switch to a heart at trick two.
You can win this in dummy, but then face the same dilemma – which defender has which missing Ace?
If you guess to play a diamond, all will be well if East has the Ace, but you will go down if West has it.
If you guess to play a club, you will survive if East has the Ace but if West owns it, West will win and play a second heart.
You can try finessing, but East will produce the Queen and continue the suit.
When East eventually gets in with the Ace of diamonds, he will have a winning heart to cash as the setting trick.
To destroy West options, cover his Eight with the Queen at trick one, forcing East to win the trick.
East will win his King, and you will duck.
East cannot harm you, and you will knock out both minor suit Aces at leisure.
You win the opening lead by dummy’s Ace and then take out trumps, ending in your hand.
You can then lead the a diamond which is taken by North’s King.
North can lead his King of spades in order to kill dummy’s entry.
At this point, your Queen of diamonds is blocking your ability to run dummy’s diamonds.
The solution is to unblock the Jack of diamonds at trick one.