Test Your Play
Vulnerable at IMP’s, how do you play the following hand?
Dummy (N): Q1054, 3, A74, K8654
Declarer (S): void, AK9854, 96, J10932
Contract – five clubs
Lead – Q of D’s.
If hearts split no worse than 4-2 then by merely finessing west for the Queen of clubs you will make unless east has either (a) both the Ace and Queen of clubs or (b) the singleton Queen of clubs. But at no additional risk you can protect against case b whenever east has more than two hearts by taking the following line:
Win the Ace of diamonds, cash the Ace and King of hearts pitching a diamond and ruff a heart with the 8 of clubs (to guard against an over-ruff by East with the 7). Then,
- If the hearts split, ruff a spade and pitch dummy’s other diamond on a heart. Then win whatever is returned by whichever opponent ruffs the heart and lead the Jack of clubs (if a diamond is returned, ruff a spade to get to your hand).
- If west shows out on the third heart, ruff it (if west ruffs then over-ruff unless he ruffs with the Ace in which case you pitch a diamond and are home), ruff a spade, ruff another heart (or over-ruff or pitch as before), return to your hand by ruffing another spade and pitch dummy’s last diamond on a heart. Then win whatever is returned by whichever opponent ruffs the heart and lead the Jack of clubs (if a diamond is returned, ruff a spade to get to your hand).