Double Dummy


Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 08/01/2018
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Several years ago, South held these cards in a European tournament:

♠ J62  
♥ 109875  
♦ 65  
♣ AJ3
 

In a team game, vulnerable against not, he was in 4th seat. LHO opened 1♠ and partner doubled. RHO jumped to 2♠ weak. South didn't have enough to bid, but when West bid 3♠ and South's partner doubled a second time, South jumped to the vulnerable heart game.

Everyone passed and West led the ♠A:

♠ KQ93
♥ AKQ
♦ Q72
♣ K62
 
♠ J62
♥ 109875
♦ 65
♣ AJ3

Off the top, there are 2 diamonds and a spade to lose. Among the many hurdles, are not to lose a trump trick and to also do something with the potential 3rd-round club loser.

West cashed two high diamonds (East playing hi-lo) and led a third diamond. Good news--East can't produce the ♠J. If he did, you'd be down two (he'd play ♠A and a spade ruff next). East tries the ♠6 which you overruff. Next, you play two rounds of trump, everyone following.

One hurdle down, one to go. How will you cope with your 3rd round of clubs?

Are you counting? This is a double-dummy problem. Based on the auction and play, you can be sure that West started with no spades, 2 hearts and 6 diamonds. That means he has 5 clubs. The remaining position (other than the ♠Q) has to be:

Vul:N-S
Dir: West
♠ KQ93
♥ Q
♦ --
♣ K62
 
♠ --
♥ --
♦ 984
♣ ?10987
  ♠ A108754
♥ --
♦ --
♣ ?4
  ♠ J62
♥ 109
♦ --
♣ AJ3
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the ♠Q is with the doubleton (not very likely), this will be easy. What if the opening bidder has it? There is a solution. Can you find it?

Cash the top clubs ending in dummy (if the queen falls, claim the contract). East is left with only spades. Lead the ♠3, which East must duck. Win your ♠J and lead another spade to the king. If East wins, he is endplayed. If he ducks, play your losing club and West has to give you a ruff-sluff (you throw your last spade from your hand).

Once you stopped to count and were playing double-dummy, 10 tricks were there. This was the Real Deal:

Vul:N-S
Dir: West
♠ KQ93
♥ AKQ
♦ Q72
♣ K62
 
♠ --
♥ J4
♦ AK9843
♣ Q10987
  ♠ A108754
♥ 632
♦ J10
♣ 54
  ♠ J62
♥ 109875
♦ 65
♣ AJ3