# Puzzle This

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

Vulnerable against non-vulnerable opponents, you (South) arrive in 4♠ on this auction:

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

(1) Weak

West leads the 6 and East wins the king. On the A, West discards a low club, and when East plays a third heart, you ruff as West pitches a low diamond.

After drawing trumps in two rounds, you play a low club toward dummy. West plays low, and you face the critical point in the play. Should you play the king or the jack? Is this just a random guess or is there some clue that suggests playing one honor versus the other?

View Solution
You should confidently rise with dummy’s king. How do you know? The bidding.

East opened a weak 2 and has already shown up with the A K J. That gives him 8 points. If he held the ♣A also, that would give him a good 12-count, plenty to open the bidding 1 instead of 2, especially third seat, not vulnerable.

The full deal:

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

The opponents’ actions during the bidding can be a big clue during the play.