# A Matter of Timing

Dlr:
South
Vul:
E-W
North
♠ 9 2
K J 10 5
A Q 9
♣ A 8 5 2
South
♠ A K 6
Q 4
J 10 8 4
♣ K 7 4 3
 West North East South 1♣ Pass 1♥ 1♠ 1NT Pass 3NT All Pass

The bidding had a minor point of interest: Your bid of 1NT showed a maximum of two hearts. With three, you would have doubled East’s 1♠ bid. West starts with the ♠7, suggesting that the suit is breaking 6-2. With that in mind, how will you come to nine tricks on this deal?

## Solution

When East played the ♠8 at trick one, declarer saw that there was little point in ducking this Trick, so he won with the ♠K and played the Q. When that held, declarer continued with the 4 to dummy’s 10. East won with the A and led the ♠Q. After winning with the ♠A, declarer continued by playing a club to the ace. Next, he cashed the K and J, throwing diamonds from hand. (East threw a low diamond on the fourth round of hearts.) Declarer’s general plan was to hope that West had three clubs and two spades. If that had been the case, South would have been able to concede a club to that player and make his eighth and ninth tricks with the *D*A ace of diamonds and an established club. So, declarer led a club from dummy. When East discarded a spade, South rose with the ♣K and needed to reconsider his options. On the bidding, declarer placed East with the K, so there was no point in taking the diamond finesse. Instead, declarer exited with a spade. East took his three spade winners, but then had to lead away from the K. Declarer made nine tricks: two spades, three hearts, two diamonds and two clubs.

Note that declarer would have failed to make his contract on this layout if he had let East win either the first or second round of spades. Note also that East could not have gained by baring his K. Had he done so, a diamond to the ace would have secured the contract. If West had the K, declarer would have lost just one heart, one diamond and two clubs. The full deal:

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

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