Avoiding a blind spot



Dealer: S
Vul: None
North
K Q J 10
8 7 5 3 2
9 6
J 5
 
     
  South
A 8 5 2
A
K 8
A K 9 7 4 3
 
Bidding:
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
      1♣
Pass 1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2♠ Pass 4♠
Pass Pass Pass  

By Mike Lawrence

South ends up playing in four spades after a straightforward sequence. West leads the king of hearts, won by South’s ace.

Declarer played the ace of clubs and went to dummy’s king of spades in order to lead another club. When East followed, declarer took his king of clubs and ruffed a club in dummy with the queen, setting up the club suit. South drew another round of trumps discovering that West started with four to the nine.. This was awkward because it meant South couldn’t draw trumps and run clubs.

How would you handle this problem?

South ‘solved’ the problem by drawing one more trump and leading a diamond to his king. If it won, he would be able to draw the final trump and take three more club tricks. West had the ace of diamonds, though, and the hand fell apart. When it was over, four spades was down two. Declarer may claim he was unlucky, which is true, but he was also careless.

What should he do to improve his ‘luck’?



Dealer: S
Vul: None
North
K Q J 10
8 7 5 3 2
9 6
J 5
 
West
9 7 6 4
K Q J 4
A J 4
6 2
  East
3
10 9 6
Q 10 7 5 3 2
Q 10 8
  South
A 8 5 2
A
K 8
A K 9 7 4 3
 
Bidding:
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
      1♣
Pass 1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2♠ Pass 4♠
Pass Pass Pass  

Four spades was cold once the ace and king of clubs got by. All declarer had to do was to ruff the third club as he did, play the jack of spades and then the ten. But, instead of letting the ten win, South overtakes with the ace. This sets up a trick for West’s nine of spades, but it also leaves South in control. South will lead clubs until West ruffs. Later South will lose two diamonds but he will still come to ten tricks. Better to sacrifice one trick to insure ten tricks.

Of more than passing interest is that even if East had the ace of diamonds, South would be in trouble. East would take his ace and continue hearts. South has to ruff with his last trump. Sooner or later, West will ruff a club and if he still has some hearts to cash, South will be down in four spades, even with the diamond finesse being onside.

An interesting hand. It does not matter where the ace of diamonds is. If you see the irrelevancy of the ace of diamonds, you will make four spades.

 

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