A Matter of Timing
K J 5
Q 7 6 2
A K 8 4
A 8 7 5
Q 10 3
10 8 4
Q 6 2
9 3 2
A 9 8 4 2
J 9 3
K Q 10 4
A K 5
10 9 7 3
A heart lead sets 3 NT
- West gets in eventually with the
to continue the suit.
In 5 ♣
, the defense gets a heart, a spade, and a club.
In 5 ♦
, it seems like declarer might be able to
pitch losing clubs on spades. The problem is a lack of entries to the
North hand. Declarer has to take his spades after the trumps are
drawn, and must ruff the heart loser before the trumps are drawn. But
then where is the entry to the spades if East hold up a round?
The only game which makes is 4 ♠
. The defense has
no way of keeping declarer from scoring three spades, a heart, four
diamonds and two clubs.
Their best bet is to try to force declarer with hearts. Timing
is everything. Declarer needs to fear this position, with the
opponents on lead:
Declarer doesn't mind losing a second heart, pitching a club, but
if East wins the third round and leads the fourth declarer is
The trick, then, is to lose the two heart tricks early, to cut
off the entry to East's hand.
If West leads the ♥ 10
, declarer plays low from dummy.
Say West continues hearts. Declarer covers,
and if East ducks, declarer immediately exits with a heart, pitching
a club from hand. East cannot profitably lead a fourth round
of hearts, because declarer still has two trumps in dummy. But this
the last time East will get the lead.