Vanderbilt Hand 315: 5
(Page of 5)

This was the last board of the first session of this year's Vanderbilt final.

North
Q105
932
A963
J85
South
KJ3
KJ1054
AK643
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
4
5
P
P
P

Plan the play after the J lead overtaken by the ace.

North
Q105
932
A963
J85
South
KJ3
KJ1054
AK643
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
4
5
P
P
P

With a sure spade loser and a likely club loser, you need to guess the diamonds.  If they are 2-2, you have plenty of trumps to ruff all your losers.  Both declarers played for this and went down when they were 3=1.

Given this information, how would you play?

West
A962
KJ1076
Q87
10
North
Q105
932
A963
J85
East
874
AQ854
2
Q972
South
KJ3
KJ1054
AK643
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

VuGraph commentators in both rooms said that you can make it on a dummy reversal.  Looking at it later, I couldn't find it and resorted to a double-dummy solver which agreed with me, but did find an alternate successful line.  See if you can find that line before moving to the next page.

West
A962
KJ1076
Q87
10
North
Q105
932
A963
J85
East
874
AQ854
2
Q972
South
KJ3
KJ1054
AK643
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

The line that many people (including me) saw was to draw trumps, then duck a club, planning to ruff a club, ruff another heart, and eventually throw dummy's last heart on the long club.  Eventually, I figured out why not.

West
A962
KJ1076
Q87
10
North
Q105
932
A963
J85
East
874
AQ854
2
Q972
South
KJ3
KJ1054
AK643
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
4
5
P
P
P
D
5 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

After drawing trumps, when you duck a club, you get forced with a heart.  You can now cash the AK and ruff a club, but there is no entry back to your hand.  When you play a spade, the defense can cash a heart.  The same thing happens if you force out the A first.

The truly double-dummy line is to ruff, then play K and a low diamond to the nine, then duck a club to West (if East rises to prevent this, it sets up the whole suit).  Assuming you get forced in hearts, play a low spade, winning in dummy.  Then ruff the last heart and put West back in with spades, at which point he needs to give access to dummy to draw the last trump.

There are some similar lines involving taking the A early.  The key point is to perform the Dentist's Coup by removing West's exit card before playing spades.