1. IMPs. None vulnerable.
♠ A 9 6 5
K Q 7 3
Q
♣ Q 10 9 3
♠ 8 4
A 8 5 4
A
♣ A K J 8 5 4

 West North East South Pass 1♣ 1♠ Dbl Pass 2♠ Pass 3♣ Pass 3♥ Pass 3♠ Pass 4♦ Pass 6♣ All Pass

West leads the ♠K. Plan the play.

 ♠ A 9 6 5 ♥ K Q 7 3 ♦ Q ♣ Q 10 9 3 ♠ K Q J 7 3 ♠ 10 2 ♥ 9 ♥ J 10 6 2 ♦ J 10 7 6 3 ♦ K 9 8 5 4 2 ♣ 7 2 ♣ 6 ♠ 8 4 ♥ A 8 5 4 ♦ A ♣ A K J 8 5 4

The contract is cold if hearts are 3–2, so assume they’re 4–1, the length surely with East given those 11 diamonds roaming around in the East‑West hands.

Your best bet is to win the ♠A, draw trump, cash the K and the A and exit a spade. Assuming hearts are 4–1, you have to find East with ♠10 x or ♠J x and West with a singleton 9, 10 or jack of hearts. If the cards are favorable, whoever wins the spade exit is endplayed.

If West wins, he can’t exit a spade without setting up the ♠9 for a heart discard. A diamond is no better since it gives you a ruff and sluff.

If East wins, he must lead a heart from a presumed J–10–x, J–9–x or 10–9–x, thus losing his natural trick and a diamond exit gives you a ruff and sluff. All roads lead to success.

2. IMPs. None vulnerable.
♠ A Q 10
6 3
Q 4
♣ Q J 9 8 4 2
♠ 9 6 5
A 10
A J 9 8 4 2
♣ A 5

 West North East South 1♦ 1♥ 2♣ 3♥(1) 3NT All Pass

(1) Preemptive.
OK, you took the bull by the horns and bid everyone’s favorite contract. Now that you’re there, how do you play it when West leads the K?

 ♠ A Q 10 ♥ 6 3 ♦ Q 4 ♣ Q J 9 8 4 2 ♠ J 7 ♠ K 8 4 3 2 ♥ K Q J 9 2 ♥ 8 7 5 4 ♦ K 6 ♦ 9 8 5 ♣ 10 7 6 3 ♣ K ♠ 9 6 5 ♥ A 10 ♦ A J 10 7 3 2 ♣ A 5

To give yourself the best chance, win the A and plunk down the ♣A (key play). Who knows? The ♣K might come tumbling down from East. If it does, you can lead a
club to the 9 and take six club tricks along with three aces. And what if the 9 loses to the 10 when East had the K all along? Simple: Don’t play against Zia anymore.

On a more serious note, East probably has a singleton so maybe, just maybe, today is your lucky day. If the ♣K doesn’t appear, cross to the ♠A and run the Q.
If that loses, clear the children out of the room since it won’t be pretty, but you are not vulnerable, and you did take the best shot to make everyone’s favorite contract.

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