A minor dilemma (with solution)

Submitted by English Bridge Union on Wed, 09/03/2022 - 11:11

This weeks blog is a minor dilemma sent in by an Essex club. Can you solve the problem without looking at the solution below.

You are South, playing in a small slam in spades. West leads K:

 

 

 

 

  7432
  Q86  
  KJ95  
  A10  
 ?    ?
 ?    ?
 ?    ?
K?    ?
  AKQJ65  
  AK32  
  -  
  742

 

The bidding was (N/S Vul):

 

East South West North
    1 Pass
Pass 1 3 3
Pass 4 Pass 5
Pass 6 Pass Pass
Pass All Pass    

 

 

Take it from there

 

 

 

 

 

SOLUTION

 

For his bidding, West must have the Ace of Diamonds and probably 7 clubs. Play the Ace and hope it does not get ruffed. Assume the trumps are 3-1 (otherwise there is no problem). Ruff a diamond at trick 2 (to help tighten the end position) and then draw trumps. As expected, this takes three rounds. Now play a  to the queen, ruff another diamond and cash A and K of hearts (West shows out on the HK as suspected).

 

You have reached the following four-card ending:

 

  7
  -  
  KJ  
  10  
 -    -
 -   J
Ax   xxx
QJ    -
  J  
  3  
  -  
  74

 

The lead of the 3 now gives West an insolvable dilemma in the minor suits. If he discards a club, you ruff on table and exit with the 10, claiming the last two tricks with a ruff and the good club in your hand. If he discards a diamond (coming down to the bare A), you discard the 10, leaving East on play. You ruff East’s enforced diamond return (bringing down the DA), and dummy’s trump and DK take the last two tricks.

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