Let’s get into a test as declarer! It is all about trying out your chances in the right order!
West start the defense with ace-king-queen of spades, you ruff high. Next play the ace of heart, both defenders follow suit.
What is your next move?
Yes, you might have discarded a club instead of ruffing. But this gain very little. If trump are 5-0 you will find out when play the ace and just continue with ace-king-queen-2 of diamonds hoping the 5-card heart holder also have at least 3 diamonds.
It is good technique to count your tricks before making the plan of the play.
5 ♥, 3♦ and 1 ♣ make us one trick short of winning the contract. Diamonds might be 3-3 or JT fall, we even can ruff a diamond at dummy if cards split nicely.
Let’s try to play a line that combine our chances.
We therefore play the king of hearts (both opponent follow suit). Next play is the ace-king of diamonds; all follow but only the ten drops from east.
Best play is now to play the queen of diamonds. If diamonds are 3-3 this doesn’t matter, but if diamonds split 4-2 we end up with these chances
- The queen are ruffed by the opponent holding two diamonds and three hearts. We can still ruff the last diamond and ends up with the same 9 tricks we had anyhow. Nothing lost.
- If the opponent holding doubleton diamonds only had doubleton hearts we have won the contract by playing the last diamond and ruff from dummy.
As you can see this was a “free” chance. We could not loose, only gain. About half the times diamonds are 4-2 the reward is making instead of a trick short.
The actual board looked like this
Your careful play gave you a 60 % reward in the tournament.
If you are advanced you can also try for the more entertaining distribution of the cards. If hearts split 3-2 and minors are 4-4 at one hand there is a chance for a tricky squeeze.
You make this by let a small club run in the second trick. You win the diamond return and play club to the ace and a club that you ruff high.
Now you play trumps, position would be like this
When south play the heart to 10 west give up. He either has to drop diamond guard or the club guard.
But this was not the case this time, and is anyhow a much less possible lay of the cards.