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Play problem for the aspiring expert
(Page of 2)

North
A
xx
AK109xx
A9xx
South
Q10xx
QJxx
x
K8xx
W
N
E
S
2
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Well, you have aggressively arrived at 3NT (vulnerable at imps, etc) and have to play it. Unfortunately for you, LHO selects the spade 7 for his opening lead. (Opps lead 2nd highest from worthless holdings) You will need some luck. What is the best way to get it? Plan your play before looking overleaf. I will give you a slight hint by telling you that your chances arenonexistent if you can't get 5 diamonds, or maybe I am trying to throw some sand in your eyes

Did you do what seems natural and lead the AK and another diamond? You will be gratified to see rho win the diamond Q and lho play the J, as you discard, perhaps, a heart, spade and club. When rho returns the club Q, what will you do? As you will see in the full hand diagram, it doesn't matter. You cannot take nine tricks. If you win in the dummy and run your diamonds, the 6 card end position prior to cashing the last diamond will be: Q10 of spades, QJx of hearts, and K of clubs. If you cash the last diamond you will subject yourself to a 3 suited squeeze. If not, you will lead a heart to lho who will return a spade. A black card will then endplay you to lose 2 hearts. If you win in your hand, you could exit with the heart Q but lho (the rat) will cash the AK and play a spade to partner, who will exit with the club J. The only way you could have made this hand is to play a heart at trick 2. This has the effect of breaking communications between the defenders. If lhoestablishes his hearts, you will play a diamond to the 10 to make sure he doesnt get in. If lho returns a club, you will win in your hand, establish diamonds and force rho to give you either a club or a spade trick on his return, because you will have the freedom to throw all your hearts due to your foresight in playing a heart at trick 2.The entire hand

West
8742
AK10xxx
Jxx
North
A
76
AK109xx
A9xx
East
KJxx
x
Qxx
QJ10xx
South
Q10xx
QJxx
x
K8xx
W
N
E
S
2
3
P
3NT
?
D

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