# Counting

### Hand of the Week

Dlr:
East
VUL:
E-W
North
♠ J 10 4 2
A 8
A 9 6
♣ A K 3 2

South
♠ A K Q 9 8 6
K 5
10 4 3
♣ 7 5

 West North East South 3♦ 3♠ Pass 6♠ All Pass

How will you play 6♠ when West leads the Q and both opponents follow to the first round of trumps and two rounds of hearts?

### Solution

West’s failure to lead a diamond indicates he has a void there. Further, as East has at least one trump and two hearts he can have at most three clubs. So the full deal will be not too dissimilar to:

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

You have 11 top tricks and two seemingly unavoidable diamond losers, but luckily the bidding gives you a clue as to how to play the hand. The idea you should have formed is to endplay West on the fourth round of clubs, forcing him to give you a ruff-and-discard.

You win the heart lead with the king and draw trumps in two rounds. After cashing the A, you play the ♣A, ♣K and ruff a club, noting that East discards a diamond. Next you cross to dummy with a trump and cash the A, just in case East has opened on a six-card suit and West forgot to lead the suit.

At this stage West has only hearts and clubs left. So you lead dummy’s last club and discard one of your diamond losers on it. West wins and has to return a heart or a club. Whichever he returns will give you a ruff-and-discard – you ruff in the dummy and discard your last diamond from hand. You score six trumps, two hearts, a diamond, two clubs and this last ruff in dummy – that’s 12 tricks.