Writers’ weekly 30 | Test your declarer play

This hand is a test of your skills as declarer. The board showed up among the last boards of a pairs tournament.

Let’s se if you find the way to 12 tricks.


West led the ace of diamonds then turned the ten of clubs, how do you plan your play?


The bidding gives us some extra information, should it be considered when analyzing the possibilities or should we just stick to the best percentage chance of making?

It was a shame west played the ten of clubs, this attack the communications between our hands. Any other defense would allow us to pull trumps, queen – jack of spades – club to the ace then discard clubs on ace-king of spades.

So back to the actual play, we do have 3 possible lines.

Finesse the king of clubs. This is a 50 % chance, maybe lower with this defense?

Trumps are 2-2. This is a 40 % chance.

Grab ace of clubs, cash the queen and jack of spades followed by king-queen of trumps. When the suit split 2-2 you can discard clubs on the ace and king of spades. If trumps are 3-1 you will also make the contract if the defender holding 3 trumps also holds at least 4-card spades.

Spades are 3-3. This is a 35 % chance. Combined with a squeeze when one defender holds both 4-card spades+ and the king of clubs (about 22 % chance).

Considering the bidding it seems like the club finesse might not work. It also seems fair to expect the suits not to split to well.

Judged on this it might be best to try the third line hoping the spades are 3-3 or that the squeeze might work.

As the cards lie both no 2 and 3 worked well, the cards looked like this


It you choose no 3 the play would og as followed: 

You win the ace of clubs, then play all the trumps and the Queen of spades. The position will come down to this


You play the six of  heart discarding a spade from dummy. East will find himself squeezed and must let go the king of clubs hoping west has the nine.

So did you make your contract?