This week we’ve examined the versatile loser-onloser play. It can help declarer set up a suit, avoid a dangerous opponent or execute an end play. To test yourself, cover the East-West cards. Against your four hearts, West leads the king of spades and shifts to the jack of clubs.
How do you play to win 10 tricks?
You have a spade, a club and maybe two diamonds to lose, but you can end-play West with a loser on a loser. Play a low club from both hands at Trick Two, letting West’s jack win, and take the next club with the ace.
You cash the A-K of trumps, ruff a spade, go to the king of clubs, and return the queen of spades, pitching a diamond. When West wins, he must lead a diamond, giving you a free finesse, or lead a spade, conceding a ruff-sluff.
Though declarer could still make four hearts at double dummy if he won the second trick, he might fail. Ducking instead is safer. South makes sure that East can’t win a club trick and shift to a damaging diamond.
Question: You hold: ♠ A K84 ♥ 84 ♦ K875 ♣ J 10 6. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade, he rebids two hearts and you try 2NT. Partner then bids three clubs. Now what?
Answer: Partner suggests six hearts, four clubs and minimum values. Since you have prime values, heart tolerance and a useful club holding, bid four hearts. Partner may hold 7 6, K Q10 7 6 3, 2, A Q 9 4.