Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

Try cov­er­ing the EW hands and see how you cope with this hand. South opened a strong 1NT and, af­ter sim­ple Stay­man, he found him­self in the spade game. West led the nine of di­a­monds and things looked good when West flew the ace of di­a­monds on small cards. A heart switch went to the ten, jack and ace and it seemed like a mat­ter of draw­ing trumps and get­ting the heart loser away on the third round of di­a­monds. On the lead of the jack of spades, the roof sud­denly seemed to be pre­car­i­ously perched when East dis­carded a club. How­ever, West ducked the jack and you might con­sider how to play on.

Clearly, you need some luck to cope with the 5-0 trump split and, if you play an­other trump the de­fend­ers will have two trump tricks by force as well as the AD and a deep club. The first pri­or­ity is to ruff the third heart, so play the QD and then the KH. Now cash the KD and, when it is for­tu­nate enough to hold, dis­card dummy’s last heart and ruff the third heart.

Now re­turn to hand with the king of clubs and the end­ing is in the sec­ond di­a­gram. De­clarer al­ready has seven tricks and leads a club. If West dis­cards a heart, the ace of clubs wins and de­clarer is safe.

If West ruffs, he must let de­clarer score the 10S on the next trick. Then de­clarer will re­peat the dose by lead­ing an­other club and West ei­ther lets the ace of clubs win or gets end­played in trumps. It’s un­usual to lead the JS as at trick three but nec­es­sary here so de­clarer was ei­ther very in­sight­ful or very lucky.

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