### Hand of the Week

Dlr:
North
VUL:
None
North
♠ A 9 2
A
J 10 8 5
♣ A Q J 10 3

South
♠ K Q 7 5 3
J 7 2
A 9
♣ K 6 5

 West North East South 1♣ 1♥ 1♠ 3♥ 4♥ Pass 4NT Pass 5♣ Pass 6♠ All Pass

West’s 3 was a weak, preemptive raise. West leads the 10 to dummy’s ace. What is your plan to make 12 tricks?

### Solution

The first move is to count your tricks. If trumps are 3-2, you can make all of the tricks – five trumps, a heart, a heart ruff, the A and five clubs. However, there is a good chance that West’s pre-emptive raise to three hearts is based on a trump shortage. Suppose the full deal is:

Dlr:
North
VUL:
None
North
♠ A 9 2
A
J 10 8 5
♣ A Q J 10 3
West
♠ 4
10 9 8 4
K 7 3 2
♣ 9 8 7 2
East
♠ J 10 8 6
K Q 6 5 3
Q 6 4
♣ 4
South
♠ K Q 7 5 3
J 7 2
A 9
♣ K 6 5

Now you have a loser in trumps, but all that does is reduce your 13 tricks to 12 – provided you are careful. Your plan should be to lose a trump trick at a convenient moment. In fact, the only way to make the slam on this layout is to duck a round of trumps at trick two. Suppose East wins and switches to his singleton club. You win with the king, ruff a heart with the ♠9 and cash the ♠A. You can then return to your hand with the A to draw the remaining trumps. You have made six tricks already (three trumps, a heart, a heart ruff and a club) and there are six more waiting to be cashed (a trump, a diamond and four clubs).

Why were you “riding your luck”? Well, because on the above layout any non-heart lead from West sees the slam fail!

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