# Hand of the Week

Dlr:
South
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ 6 5 2
7
J 9 8 5 3
♣ A K J 8
South
♠ K 7 3
A K 2
A Q 4
♣ Q 7 4 2
 West North East South 1♣ 2♣(1) 2♥(2) Pass 3NT All Pass

(1) 5-5 majors
(2) Limit raise or better

West leads the Q. Do you see a way to nine tricks?

## Solution

After West led the Q, declarer counted seven top tricks and, as there was little chance on the bidding that East had the ♠A, the diamond suit would have to provide the two extra tricks needed for the contract to succeed. The complication was that, when spades were 5-2, this had to be done without letting East gain the lead to attack spades with the nine or a high honor.

Declarer therefore crossed to dummy by leading a low club to the jack to play the J. East covered with the K and declarer won the trick with the ace. The contract was then safe. Declarer crossed to dummy with a second low club to the king, noting that, on the bidding, Westâ€™s original distribution had to have been 5=5=1=2. Declarer continued with the 9 and, when East followed with the 2, South played the 4 from hand. Declarer claimed nine tricks: two hearts, three diamonds and four clubs.

Declarer chose the best play in diamonds. If the diamonds had been 3-2, he would have made at least 10 tricks. The only case where declarerâ€™s play would have lost would have been when West had begun with a singleton K. The full deal:

Dlr:
South
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ 6 5 2
7
J 9 8 5 3
♣ A K J 8
West
♠ A Q J 9 8
Q J 10 8 3
6
♣ 9 5
East
♠ 10 4
9 6 5 4
K 10 7 2
♣ 10 6 3
South
♠ K 7 3
A K 2
A Q 4
♣ Q 7 4 2