The Solution Of The Declarer Play Problem From Kitzbühel

Here is the solution of the declarer play problem from Kitzbühel:

Pairs tournament, both non vulnerable, dealer East:

North
93
KJ84
976
K874
South
A82
AQ1093
5
AJ65
W
N
E
S
2
3
3
4
P
P
P

East's 2♠ opening means 5 spades + at least 4 cards in a minor suit, weak hand.

West leads the ten of clubs, East gives the 2, and we win it with the Jack.

We cash the Ace of hearts, and East discards the 3 of diamonds (encourage in diamonds).

How should we play?

The opening lead gives us a 3rd sure club tricks, so we have 5 heart tricks, 3 club tricks, the Ace of spades and we have a ruffing possibility in spades in the dummy to collect the 10th trick.

So we play the Ace of hearts with no costs, and East discards the 3 of diamonds (encourage in diamonds). What should we do now?

We still have to duck a spade trick before taking all trumps, otherwise we don't have 10 tricks, if club distribution is 4-1 as it seems to be very probable!

But if we duck a spade trick, East wins it, gives a club ruff to West, who can entry to East with a diamond trick to get another club ruff to West.

If we play 3 heart tricks to prevent 2 ruffs at West, he will win the spade duck, so he can play his last trump to avoid our spade ruff in the dummy.

So only one way remained to win the contract: we have to play diamond in trick 3 to cut the opponents from the 2nd ruffing possibility.

East can win this diamond and play club to ruff in West, but we don't give club honor to that trick, so we still have 3 club tricks to use.

West, after ruffing, will have only 2 more trumps, so doesn't matter, how he continues, we win all 3 suits and we cash 2 more trump tricks, and dummy still has a trump to ruff our 3rd spade in the hand.

If East doesn't play club after winning the diamond trick, we duck a spade, and even if East finds the club ruff now, we already can ruff a spade in the dummy and we still have 2 more club tricks to win the contract!

The complete distribution was:

West
KJ4
7652
AJ842
10
North
93
KJ84
976
K874
East
Q10765
KQ103
Q932
South
A82
AQ1093
5
AJ65
W
N
E
S
2
3
3
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0