Spade Heart Hayling Island Bridge Club Diamond Club
Play Problem 015
Play Problem 015 - contributed by Graham Broadbent

A testing hand from Tuesday’s duplicate at Emsworth.  This is a family site, so I will protect those of a delicate disposition by drawing a veil over the auction.  Suffice to say I was South and ended up playing in an ambitious 6 diamonds after East had bid Spades strongly.


E/W Vulnerable - Contract 6 Diamonds by South

A small Spade was led and partner faced the dummy, these were the two hands.

Can you make twelve tricks on these hands?  Hint, if you did what I did, drew trumps and took the club finesse you are already down!


SOLUTION (click 'Show All Hands' to see the full deal)


Thinking through the hand later I realised that the key is the Heart suit; even if the Club King is onside the Hearts still need to be brought in for only one loser.  Best chance is to play for the King of Hearts doubleton (or singleton) in either hand. Mathematically this is about a 33% chance, marginally better than the chance of catching both missing Kings onside.  Also with East bidding Spades strongly he is quite likely to hold the missing Heart King.


The play is simple: ruff the opening Spade, draw trumps and play a low Heart from each hand.  Win any return, cash the Ace of Hearts (dropping the King) and then the Queen.  Return to hand by ruffing another spade and cash the established long Hearts discarding 2 losing Clubs, ruff a Club on the table.