Play problem from session 3 of Spingold R64
(Page of 3)

This was board 15 in the Wilson-Tulin match.

West
North
J76543
KJ105
6
J4
East
South
AQ9863
KJ8
A1083
W
N
E
S
1
X
4
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
4
2
A
3
1
0
1

What's your plan after (presumably) winning the ace at trick 1? Note that East thought for a bit before passing 5.

You have six hearts, two clubs, certainly a couple ruffs in dummy, and need an eleventh trick. One possibility is to hope that West has a singleton heart. In that case, you can concede a diamond now, win a trump return, eventually ruff two diamonds and a club in dummy with East not begin able to get in.

West
North
J76543
KJ105
6
J4
East
South
AQ9863
KJ8
A1083
W
N
E
S
1
X
4
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
4
2
A
3
1
0
J
5
6
Q
2
1
1
2
3
7
10
1
2
1
J
7
3
Q
0
2
2
4

You can also play a club to dummy. In that case, if West plays a club you pitch a diamond. Even if that is ruffed, you can still win a trump return and ruff all your diamonds in dummy. However, West can play a trump instead. Now when you play a diamond off of dummy, if you guess wrong and West doubled with 3-2 in the majors you're a trick short (unless a the club 9 is dropping, in which case it's your lucky day). This is better than playing a diamond from hand at trick 2, since you can still play a diamond after West's initial trump return and have a chance to guess right. You also have the potential line of winning West's trump return in hand and trying to pitch your diamond, but that will fail when West is 3-1-4-5 and East ruffs your club winner and returns a spade.

So, what do you do?

There is a much better line available. Considering the bidding, spades are almost certainly 3-4. Unless trumps are 0-3, you can force West to do something for you.

West
North
J76543
KJ105
6
J4
East
South
AQ9863
KJ8
A1083
W
N
E
S
1
X
4
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
4
2
A
3
1
0
3
7
10
2
1
2
0
3
8
8
2
3
3
0
6
5
K
4
1
4
0
4
10
9
9
3
5
0
3
6

If west wins this trick, a club or diamond return yields an extra trick in that suit. A spade return provides an extra entry to dummy to ruff out its spades. Now you can ruff a spade, ruff a club, ruff another spade, cash your T and dummy is high. If instead West lets the jack of clubs win, that becomes your extra entry to dummy and you ruff the spades good yourself.

The whole deal:

West
Q92
7
A975
KQ965
North
J76543
KJ105
6
J4
East
AK108
42
Q10432
72
South
AQ9863
KJ8
A1083
W
N
E
S
1
X
4
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
4
2
A
3
1
0
3
7
10
2
1
2
0
3
8
8
2
3
3
0
6
5
K
4
1
4
0
4
10
9
9
3
5
0
3
6