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Release 2.19q
Thursday 13th Dec - Board 11
Thursday 13th December - Board 11

Board 11 on Thursday December 13th is interesting. South played the hands in hearts 8 times, whereas you would expect E/W to play in spades. As it happens, 10 tricks can be made in hearts.


When Declarer sees Dummy, he can see 1 heart, 1 diamond and 1 club are certain losers. Provided trumps are 2-1, he can see 9 winners - 1 spade, 1 heart, 1 club and 3 ruffs in each hand. If he is in 4H, he will need to find an extra trick. There are two possibilities, setting up a diamond or ruffing 4 times in each hand, only losing one of the ruffs to an over-ruff.


To set up a diamond, will normally need 4 entries to dummy - 3 to ruff diamonds and 1 to cash the fifth diamond. If the opening lead is a spade, there will be only the three ruffing entries still available, and so that possibility is now very unlikely. With any other lead, Declarer can make the contract.


Declarer plays the DQ as soon as possible, and subsequently ruffs a diamond whenever in Dummy. (Note, if the lead is a club, it is best to let this run to the CQ. East will not play the CA, because that would give the extra trick immediately. So Declarer gets in at trick 1, to lead the DQ)  


Declarer will cash the HA, before starting the ruffs, rather than use one of his precious entries to lead trumps from Dummy. The fifth diamond will be set up and the contract made even if the opponents manage to play 2 rounds of trumps. 


On a spade lead, Declarer has to try for the possibility of 4 ruffs in each hand. He needs to play 1 round of diamonds and 2 rounds of clubs, without 2 rounds of trumps being played by the opposition. It is best to start with the C2. You can only lose this trick to West, and It will usually be more difficult for West to lead a trump than for East to do so.


But the CQ wins. Now play the DQ, again hoping West wins. Say West does win, but cleverly finds the only lead to give you problems - the HQ. You must win this with the HA. Now Declarer must decide the location of the HK and probably decides that it is with East.  Having decided that, Declarer should think about whether he can put West in the lead again, since it is obvious that East has the CA, and will cash the HK if he gets in. Since West led the S4, clearly from an honour, one chance, is to play the SQ, hoping that West has the SK and then you can discard the CK, voiding Dummy of clubs. That works, and West did not have the HK, so Declarer can now cross ruff the hand, losing only to an over-ruff by the HK.