# Handle with care

Dlr:
North
Vul:
None
North
♠ A J 10
Q
A J 6 5 3
♣ Q 4 3 2
South
♠ K Q 7 5 3 2
A 5 4
Q 10 7
♣ A
 West North East South 1♦ 2♥ 2♠ Pass 4♠ Pass 6♠ All Pass

You are playing in a teams match and reach a slam with good prospects. West leads the 2. Dummy’s Q is covered by East with the king. What is your plan for getting to 12 tricks?

## Solution

Both Wests led a third-highest 2 to dummy’s queen, East’s king and declarer’s ace. At one table, declarer ruffed a heart at trick two then cashed the ♠A, East showing out. Next, he continued with a club to his ace and ran his Q to East’s king. East found the best defense of forcing dummy with a high heart, thereby promoting West’s ♠9 into the setting trick. At the other table, declarer led a low trump at trick two. Dummy’s 10 won and declarer returned to hand with the ♣A and led the Q, which held the trick. This declarer was confident that East was capable of withholding the *D*K and that West would have covered the queen if he had held the king. So declarer continued with a low diamond to dummy’s ace. Declarer continued by crossruffing clubs and hearts to make the next five tricks, for 10 in all. Declarer claimed two of the last three tricks with his king and queen of trumps.

Declarer may have relied on table feel to make his contract, but his approach was with the odds: a 0=6=3=4 original shape with East was much more likely than 0=6=2=5. If both defenders had followed to the first trump, declarer intended to cross back to hand with the ♣A to ruff a heart. Then, after ruffing a club back to hand for another heart ruff, declarer would return to hand with a second club ruff, draw trumps and finally run the Q. If this had lost, he would still have had a trump in hand to take care of a heart or club return. The full deal:

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

### The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at membership@acbl.org.