# Countdown

### Hand of the Week

Dlr:
East
VUL:
N-S
North
♠ 6 4 2
K 8 7
Q J 6
♣ 8 6 5 2

South
♠ A 7
A J 10 9 5
4 2
♣ A K J 4

 West North East South 1NT(1) Dbl 2♠(2) Pass Pass 3♥ Pass 4♥ All Pass

(1) 12–14 high-card points.

(2) Natural, at least a five-card suit.

West leads the ♠K. How do you propose to take 10 tricks?

### Solution

The first thing to observe is that the opening lead has marked West with the king and queen of spades. So, as the remaining 12 missing high card points will be on your right, the idea is to finesse East for the missing queens in hearts and clubs:

Dlr:
East
VUL:
N-S
North
♠ 6 4 2
K 8 7
Q J 6
♣ 8 6 5 2
West
♠ K Q 10 5 3
3 2
10 9 8 3
♣ 7 3
East
♠ J 9 8
Q 6 4
A K 7 5
♣ Q 10 9
South
♠ A 7
A J 10 9 5
4 2
♣ A K J 4

After winning the ♠A, a careless play of the 5 to the king will restrict you to only one of the finesses in hearts and club. You must play the the J (or 10 or 9) to dummy’s king and finesse East for the queen of trumps by running the 8 when East plays low. If East covers, you win the ace and cross back to dummy by playing the 5 to dummy’s 7. Once that finesse succeeds, you must finesse in clubs next, as there is no entry back to dummy. As both hearts and clubs are 3-2, you will make 10 tricks.

The only question that remains is, “How would you cope if East had four trumps to the queen instead of two or three?” The answer to that is based on how you judge the spades to be divided.

You should exit with a spade after drawing trumps. If West has only five spades, then, on best defense you will have to fall back on East having started with a doubleton ♣Q. But when West has six spades, you will make the contract when clubs are 3-2, as East will be endplayed when you lead a diamond to the jack.