Join Bridge Winners
Over my shoulder
(Page of 6)

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
South
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
1

On the fourth board of a 48-board match against strong opponents, you hold QJ5 Q82 J104 AKQ2, game all, imps

Partner passes, 1 on your right. Your partner might overcall 1NT on this hand, but you think he'd be wrong: you pass, hoping you're avoiding an 800 penalty rather than missing a vulnerable game. 2 on your left, 4 on your right. You lead K, asking for standard count, and dummy puts down

863 J1063 Q5 7643

Declarer oozes insincerity as she thanks her partner. In due course, she calls for a low club, partner follows with 9 and declarer with 10. Your agreement is to play second highest from four, so it seems almost certain that the 10 was singleton.

It can't be wrong to continue clubs in any case, can it?

Yes it can. Suppose declarer's hand is AK10xx Axx AKxx 10. She'll ruff a club continuation, cash AK, cross to DQ, ruff a club, cash AK pitching a heart, and lead her last diamond, needing three more tricks.  You can discard your last club, but declarer will ruff the diamond and ruff a club: you'll be endplayed when you overruff.  (On all pages, use the Next button to follow the play.)

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
97
K97
9876
J985
South
AK1042
A54
AK32
10
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
A
4
5
2
3
1
1
A
5
3
7
3
2
1
K
J
6
9
3
3
1
2
4
Q
6
1
4
1
6
8
4
2
3
5
1
A
10
5
7
3
6
1
K
J
3
9
3
7
1
3
Q
8
8
1
8
1
7
J
10
Q
0
8
2
2
10
K
A
3
9
2
5
12

 What about a switch at trick two to Q?

 

Q would be dangerous - partner could have K singleton - and anyway it fails on the layout we're considering: declarer wins, crosses to Q, ruffs a club, cashes AK discarding a heart, and leads her fourth diamond. If you discard a club, she ruffs out your last club and endplays you with king and another spade. Or if you discard a heart, she ruffs a club and leads a heart, forcing you to rise with your doubleton Q and give her a tenth trick.

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
97
K97
9876
J985
South
AK1042
A54
AK32
10
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
Q
3
7
A
3
1
1
2
4
Q
8
1
2
1
4
5
2
2
3
3
1
A
J
5
6
3
4
1
K
10
3
9
3
5
1
3
2
6
7
1
6
1
6
8
4
Q
3
7
1
4
Q
6
7
0
7
2
9

So your only safe switch is to J.

At trick two, you switch to J; it goes Q, K, A. Declarer continues with 9 to your 10 and partner's 6. You play standard current count. Now what?

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
South
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
J
Q
K
A
3
1
1
9
10
5
6
0
1
2
3

The danger is obvious. Your brilliant diamond switch has set up the suit for declarer, whose hand is AK10xx Ax A987x 10. If you revert to clubs, declarer will ruff, cash the top trumps, and run the diamonds, pitching three hearts from dummy.

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
97
K975
K63
J985
South
AK1042
A4
A9872
10
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
J
Q
K
A
3
1
1
9
10
5
6
0
1
2
3

But there's an easy solution. Now is the time to get active and lead a heart. Then you'll be able to ruff the fourth round of diamonds and cash the setting heart trick.

You switch to 2. Declarer plays J from dummy: it holds. She crosses to A, ruffs a diamond, partner playing 8, crosses to A, and leads another diamond. You sadly discard Q; declarer ruffs in dummy, partner following with 7, ruffs a club, cashes K, and shows you K and the last two spades.

West
QJ5
Q82
J104
AKQ2
North
863
J1063
Q5
7643
East
97
975
K876
J985
South
AK1042
AK4
A932
10
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
3
9
10
0
0
1
J
Q
K
A
3
1
1
9
10
5
6
0
1
2
2
J
5
4
1
2
2
3
7
A
5
3
3
2
2
4
6
8
1
4
2
3
9
A
8
3
5
2
3
Q
8
7
1
6
2
4
5
2
2
3
7
2
K
J
6
9
3
8
2
10

Partner shakes his head and puts his cards back in the wallet. Writing down -620, you reflect that there are only 44 boards to play, and partner will do his best to make you dummy on more than 11 of them.

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