Friday, April 2, 2010

A textbook hand

[Andy]  Here's a cute hand with a nice result from the second day.

Q J 10 9 7 2
A 4
J 8 2
8 7
5 3 A K 6
K J 9 3  7 6 5 2
K 7 6 Q 5 3
A 6 4 2Q 9 3
8 4
Q 10 8
A 10 9 4
K J 10 5

West North East South

Pass 2♠ Pass Pass
Dbl Pass 3 All Pass

I could have bid 2NT as a scramble instead of 3 but it didn't seem right at matchpoints.  I won the spade lead and played heart to the J and A.  (There is an argument I might have played to the 9, but I didn't find that.)  North played back another spade.  I won and ruffed a spade as South shed a diamond.  I then played K, heart, putting South on lead.

South was endplayed.  He tried a low diamond, which I floated around to my queen. I played a diamond back and South flew A and exited a diamond.  I came off dummy with a low club in a textbook position -- as long as North had no more than one of the ♣10 or ♣J, I could cover his card to endplay South again.  Making 3.

Did you see those club spots?  At the point South won the heart, there was no way to avoid the double endplay.  South needed to make the unintuitive play of pitching a club on the spade ruff, preserving the long diamond as an exit card.  Or of course, North could have pushed a club through upon winning the A.

[Update]  As Richard alertly pointed out in his comment, the analysis above is noticeably incomplete.  South does need to hang onto the 4th diamond, and can certainly use it as an exit card if declarer immediately puts him back in in clubs.  But declarer can play the last trump, which puts the exit card under pressure again.  For example, if upon winning the Q South plays A and another diamond, then declarer wins and plays the last trump, squeezing South back out of the long diamond.  In fact, the only winning defense is what Richard suggested:  South must exit with the low diamond as he did at the table, and then pitch the A on the long trump, creating an entry to partner's hand with the J.


  1. Did you notice that (after pitching a club) South must exit with the D10 then pitch the DA when East leads the last trump?