Step by Step

Rather than relying only on the friendly break of a given suit to make your contract, you must think about a plan that allows you to make even if it splits badly – and that’s right from the start of the play

(Dealer South. E/W Vul.) Teams. As South, you are the dealer and you reach 4 Hearts after opening the following hand with 2♣, semi-forcing:

Deal 1
(*) Mandatory relay.

West leads the King of Spades. North lays down his hand and it’s your turn…

Deal 2

Contract: 4 Hearts.
Lead: King of Spades (the 8 from East).

What is your initial number of winners?
It stands at eight, with five Hearts and three Aces in the side suits.

Where can you establish the two missing tricks?
You can only get them from Diamonds:

Deal 3

If they break 3-2, this is a simple formality. But you must be prepared to protect yourself in case they split 4-1 with K-10-8-x in one hand (hypothesis of fear).

Is it possible to overcome such a pitfall?
Yes, under the condition that you think of an elimination and endplay, based on the presence of nine trumps and the “mirror” character of your two hands.

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  1. Very well written. Mr. Levy’s articles can sometimes get a little deep in the weeds as to the minutia of bidding sequesces for my liking. This article, however combines impeccable logic and problem solving skills, as the author guides you through the step by step progression that leads to the ideal line of play.

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