# Puzzle This

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

 West North East South 1♥ 1♠ 2♥ 2♠ Pass Pass 3♥ All Pass

West leads the ♣4. You play low from dummy and capture East’s ♣Q with the ace. What’s your plan for nine tricks?

View Solution
You have five sure trump tricks plus the ♣A K for seven. The simplest way to score two more tricks is to ruff some spades in dummy. At trick two, therefore, play a low spade from your hand.

Consider this possible layout:

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

If, after winning the ♣A, you decide to draw the enemy trumps in three rounds, you won’t have enough trumps left in dummy to take care of the spade losers in your hand. Even if you realize after two rounds of trumps that you need to switch gears and ruff spades, it would be too late against good defenders, who will find a way to put East on lead to play his last trump.