Test Your Play

1. Matchpoints

♠ 10 8 7
K J 3 2
A K 9 7
♣ 8 5
♠ K 5
9 5 4
Q J 4
♣ A Q 10 3 2
WEst North East South
Pass Pass Pass 1♣
1♠ Dbl 2♠ Pass
Pass Dbl Pass 2NT
All Pass

Opening lead: ♠6. East contributes the queen. Plan the play.


Apparently, East has led from the ♠A J 9 x x and, given the original pass, can’t have the A and the ♣K.

If West has the ♣K and East the A, you are not going to make 2NT, as you will lose four spades, a heart and a club. If West, however, has the A and East the ♣K, you will make the contract. Might as well go for a plus: At trick two, lead a heart to the king, cash four diamonds, and lead a club to the queen.

2. Matchpoints

♠ K Q 7
J 4 7 2
A J 10
♣ A 9 3
♠ J 9 6
K Q 10 9 5 3
Q 6
♣ K Q
WEst North East South
2♠ 3
Pass 4 All Pass

Opening lead: ♠2

Yes, 3NT would have been much, much better. You play the queen from dummy, East wins the ace and returns the 10, suit preference for diamonds. West ruffs and exits with the 9. Plan the play.


When this deal was played in a sectional pairs game, every declarer in 4 save one went down two tricks in 4. If the diamond was ducked, East won and gave West a second spade ruff, West holding A x x. If the A was played and then a heart led, West won, led a diamond and got a second spade ruff. Again, down two.

The lone declarer who went down one went up with the A, played the ♣K Q, overtaking with the ace, and led the ♣9 from the table. East, with ♣J 8 x x, saw no reason to play the jack and ducked. Declarer then discarded the Q allowing West to win the trick. Now there was no way for West to get East in for a second heart ruff and declarer went down only one.

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