Chichester Bridge Club
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Release 2.19q
Thursday Oct 17th - Board 2

No one made 13 tricks in hearts, but good play should lead to 13 tricks.

North probably bid spades, so a spade lead is likely against a heart contract.


Declarer should plan to establish the club suit and hence should consider the hands from West’s point of view even if East is the Declarer.  If trumps are 2-2 or 3-1, the number of tricks will depend purely on the distribution of the outstanding clubs. If South has 4 trumps, to avoid a trump loser it is necessary to start the trump suit by playing the HQ. (If North has 4 trumps the loss of a trump trick is inevitable.)


So Declarer should win the SA and play the HQ. He discovers South does have 4 trumps, so he will need to lead trumps from the East hand twice. Prior to that however, it is best to take the club finesse, because if that loses it is best to lose the trick early.


So the club finesse is now taken, and it succeeds. The CA is followed by a club ruff, and conveniently South shows up with CKxx. 13 tricks are now almost certain. A spade is discarded on the DA and a heart led to the H10 (best) and HK. West's last spade is now ruffed. (If not already played, Declarer should be careful to ruff with the S9, because he now needs to take the trump finesse, and must lead a heart lower than West's H8. If the H9 is led, South will not cover and the lead will be in the wrong hand for drawing South's last trump.) The H8 wins the next trick. The HA draws South's last trump and the clubs are all good - 13 tricks.