# Puzzle This

North
♠ K J 3
A K J
K J 8 6 3
♣ J 3
South
♠ A 10 2
Q 10 4
A 9 5 4 2
♣ Q 5

As South, you are declarer in 5. West leads the 9. First, how do you play trumps? Second, assuming you have no trump losers, what do you do next?

View Solution
North
♠ K J 3
A K J
K J 8 6 3
♣ J 3
West
♠ Q 7 6 5
9 8
Q 10 7
♣ K 10 8 6
East
♠ 9 8 4
7 6 5 3 2
♣ A 9 7 4 2
South
♠ A 10 2
Q 10 4
A 9 5 4 2
♣ Q 5

With this particular trump holding, you will lose a trump trick only if East started with all three missing diamonds. So you begin by playing the A. If both follow, a second trump to the king draws the last trump. If, as in the diagram, East shows out on the first round, you can take the marked diamond finesse to extract all of West’s trumps.

You have two certain club losers and a possible loser in spades. If you can work out which opponent to finesse for the ♠Q, you can make your contract, but there’s a better way to play: Make the opponents take the finesse for you.

After drawing trumps, play two more rounds of hearts, eliminating that suit. Then play a club. The defense can win and cash a second club, but they must then play a spade for you, picking up the suit, or give you a ruff and a sluff, allowing you to avoid a spade loser.