Hand of the Week
How do you plan to make 10 tricks after West leads the ♥Q?
This was the layout declarers saw in a local duplicate game:
The majority found a quick way to emerge with only nine tricks. Their plan went along these lines: “There are four trump winners whenever the suit breaks 3-2. As there are five top winners on the side, one diamond ruff will be enough to make 10 tricks!”
Their first move was to cash the ace and king of trumps, only to discover the 4-1 trump break. So they had to lose two trumps, a diamond and a club.
The best player in the game showed how to make 10 tricks on this layout. He cashed the ♦A and ♦K and ruffed a diamond. East overruffed and returned the ♣J, taken in dummy with the ace. Next he cashed the ♠K and ruffed a heart back to hand. He then ruffed his last diamond in dummy. It did not matter whether East overruffed, for all declarer could lose was one club trick and two trump tricks.
You should convince yourself that the plan also succeeds when East has two or three trumps. In the former case he has no trump left to overruff dummy. In the latter case, once East overruffs there is only one trump left outstanding.