Join Bridge Winners
Defending a slam accurately
(Page of 6)

South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P

 

The problem starts with the lead. If you want to give the problem a try I recommend you try it at my website using this link:

http://bridgegod.com/playprob.php?probid=739

 

HINT: It is not an easy one, you will need to take some time to think it.

A trump lead could stop a diamond ruff but Q10x makes spades a favourite to run if we stay too passive. K lead seems to offer better chances.

West
K8632
AJ743
J6
6
North
East
South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
9
5
0
0
1
6
9
10
Q
3
1
1
2

Declarer plays A from dummy and partner produces the 9 (UDCA) showing either 3 or 1.

 

Declarer takes a while to play at trick 2, and finally comes with 6. Partner plays 9 (UDCA) and he inserts the 10.

What is going on?

West
K8632
AJ743
J6
6
North
East
South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
9
5
0
0
1
6
9
10
Q
3
1
1
2

Partner's 9 is odd count. He could have singleton, but East might had tried to play in hearts then with support. Most likely partner has 3 cards, and playing Q now is the worst thing we can do.

Declarer contracted a slam opposite a 5-5+ hand, it is unlikely he will have a club loser given our holding.

What is the diamond position?. If partner has A the contract is going down regardless, while if declarer had AK he would had rather ruff third round in dummy. The most relevant case is that partner has K9x or K98xx. On both of this cases we need to protect partner's diamond trick from a ruff in dummy. A trump back has to be the best defense.

West
K8632
AJ743
J6
6
North
East
South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
A
9
5
0
0
1
6
9
10
Q
3
1
1
8
6
9
10
2
1
2
A
3
3
4
2
1
3
K
J
4
2
2
1
4
5

Declarer cashes all trumps, and partner pitches a heart on third round. Confirming he had 3 heart originally, and placing declarer on AKQ10xxx and heart singleton.

Declarer is going to run all trumps left and we need to find 4 discards. What is the plan?

When this hand was played south protected his spades and Q on the run of the trumps, and this was the end position:

West
K86
J
J
North
J95
K8
East
A7
A2
2
South
Q104
Q
5
D

 

Now declarer made no mistake, pitched J on last trump, and then cashed A (doing in on reverse order is equivalent). This produces a classic double squeeze and dummy's last spade made the last trick.

 

However south could had stopped this ending with proper plan. All he had to do was abandon spades and keep his diamonds, reaching this:

West
K86
J
J
North
J95
K8
East
A7
A2
2
South
Q10
Q
75
D

In this ending defence prevails, there is no successful squeeze for declarer.

 

Actually best thing south can do is abandon spades as early as possible, to make sure partner is on the same page before he can make a mistake with his 9xx. (Note that even if declarer has AJ, he cannot make 3 tricks due to blockage even when we pitch Q)

 

This was the full hand

West
K8632
AJ743
J6
6
North
J95
962
K9843
94
East
A7
5
A102
AKQ10752
South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
1

 

Could declarer had prevailed?

West
K8632
AJ743
J6
6
North
J95
962
K9843
94
East
A7
5
A102
AKQ10752
South
Q104
KQ108
Q75
J83
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
K
1

Declarer can make the contract if he isolates the diamond menace. On the run of the trumps south isolated the menace himself, but with careful planning he could had made it without any help.

The key is to preserve 10 from hand, to do so he must lead J from dummy at trick 2. North must cover (or else declarer succeeds on a  simple finesse, or the same double squeeze he made it with). And now he ducks it to rectify the count.

North has no alternative but to draw trumps to prevent the diamond ruff, and now the ending position is a bit different:

 

West
K86
J
6
North
J95
98
East
A7
A10
2
South
Q10
Q
Q7
D

This is a simple squeeze position, east cashes clubs first, and finishes with A+K to reach dummy. in the 2 card ending dummy has J and 6, while declarer has A10, south cannot cope with it.

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