# Minor Difficulties

### Hand of the Week

Dlr:
South
VUL:
E-W
North
♠ A K 9
9 7 6
7 6
♣ 9 8 6 5 2

South
♠ 4
K Q J 10 8
A K 8 5 4
♣ A K
 West North East South 2♥ Pass 3♥ Pass 4♦ Pass 4♠ Pass 4NT Pass 5♦ Pass 6♥ All Pass

After this old-fashioned strong two auction, West leads a trump. East wins the A and returns a second trump, West following. How do you plan the play?

### Solution

It may seem that you need diamonds to be 3-3 to make 12 tricks. However, suppose the full deal is:

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

The crucial play comes at trick one. When East wins with the A, you must retain the 8, following with a higher trump. Similarly, you win the second round of trumps high, again retaining the crucial 8.

The next move is to cash the ♣A and ♣K before crossing to dummy with the ♠A to ruff a club high. As the cards lie, this establishes two club tricks and you can reach them and draw the last trump by playing the 8 to dummy’s 9. You make two spades, four trumps, two diamonds and four clubs.

Of course, if clubs had not been 3-3, you would have fallen back on the diamond suit. You would cash the A and K and ruff the third round, hoping to establish two long diamonds.

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