Test Your Play

1. Matchpoints

♠ 8 3
Q 9 4
Q J 10 6 4
♣ K 10 2
♠ A K 7
A K J 8 7 3
3 2
♣ A 4
WEst North East South
Pass 2 Dbl 2
Pass 3 Pass 5
All Pass

Opening lead: ♠J.

5, right or wrong, was meant as asking about a diamond control. Say you win the opening lead and play the A, East playing the 10. Plan your matchpoint play from here.


The idea is to try to make an overtrick knowing that East has the A K and that West surely is void. You can do it if East has the ♣Q J x as well as the A K.

Ruff your spade loser, East following with the queen on the third spade, and play all of your hearts, discarding four diamonds from dummy. Dummy remains with one diamond and the ♣K 10 2. You remain with two diamonds and the ♣A 4.

East must reduce to four cards. If he keeps the A K, his projected ♣Q J will fall under the ♣A K. If he keeps the A and three clubs, concede a diamond and take the last three tricks with the ♣A K and your little 2.

2. IMPs

♠ A K
K J 9
7 6 4
♣ 8 6 5 3 2
♠ 7 3
Q 3 2
A K Q 3
♣ A 10 9 7
WEst North East South
Pass 3NT All Pass

Opening lead: ♠5. Plan the play.


The danger is that West has led a doubleton club holding Q x x x. Your answer is to play the A K: If hearts are 3–2, the most you can lose is a heart, a spade and a club.

The key is to test diamonds before clubs. Play the A K: If anyone shows out, shift your attention to clubs and hope they are 2–2, which will still give you nine tricks.

If both follow to the A K, cash the Q. If diamonds break 3–3, forget about clubs, cash the fourth diamond and drive out the A, giving you nine tricks. If diamonds turn out to be 4–2, play on clubs and hope they are 2–2.

If you test clubs before diamonds and they are 3–1, they will drive out your last spade stopper while they still have a club winner, and you will have zero chance to make your contract.

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at membership@acbl.org.

Join Zoom Chat