Chichester Bridge Club
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Release 2.19q
Wednesday 15th Jan - Board 21

Comments on this hand may be of interest to Wednesday night players.

The board might be played in 3NT by East or 4S by West. 10 tricks are likely to be made in 3NT, but possibly 11 in 4S.

3NT by East

The D4 is a likely lead by South. (Note that the lead of the DJ is not advised. Normally one needs J109 or J108 for the J to be a good lead. If the DJ is led here, North should overtake with the DQ, to prevent a blockage, and Declarer will then make 3 diamond tricks. If North does not overtake, Declarer will win the first round and later duck the second round, because he knows North has the DQ.)

Declarer should duck the first trick and win the return with the DA. Now 2 spade finesses into the safe hand will lead to 10 tricks (4 spades, 1 heart, 2 diamonds and 3 clubs.)

An opening lead of the H3 will lead to Declarer making 11 tricks.

With the D4 lead, making 11 tricks requires a very unusual play - Declarer wins the first trick, takes the spade finesse and wins the second diamond, plays 3 rounds of clubs (discarding a heart from Dummy) and then 4 rounds of spades (discarding a diamond and a heart from hand). Poor South has to keep HKJ and so is reduced to one diamond. Now Dummy leads his last diamond for South to win, and South has to give Declarer the last 2 tricks!!!

4S by West

North will probably lead the H10. South will win with the HK and return the H3. Provided there are no ruffs, Declarer can count 10 tricks - at least 3 spades, 2 hearts, 2 diamonds and 3 clubs. So Declarer will wish to play trumps as soon as possible. The return of the H3 suggests South had 4 hearts, so it should be safe to win with the HQ.

But, it is probably best for Declarer to let the heart run to the HA since he needs to lead trumps from Dummy. He expects to keep South out of the lead until North's trumps are exhausted. (South cannot have a doubleton heart, because he must still hold the HJ.) The SQ is led from Dummy and the SK wins. North probably returns a club. There is a danger in letting this run to the CQ and continuing to the CA, because North may win the next trump lead with the SJ and give South a ruff of the CK. Of course, as the hands are this will not happen, but Declarer has to take the possibility into account.

Declarer should win with the CA and lead the S10. Now Declarer will make 11 tricks.