Main Article 7A05 by Richard Pavlicek
4 by South
|None Vul|| 9 7 4 2|
7 5 4
A J 6 2
| Q 5|
Q 10 8 6
J 10 9 8
9 8 7
| J 10 8|
J 7 4 2
K Q 10 4
|Lead: J|| A K 6 3|
A 9 5
A Q 6 2
On this deal you hold eight trumps, and the five missing cards will usually break 3-2. Therefore, you will lose one trump trick; hence you will win three trump tricks.
In all the other suits (or in all suits at notrump) count only the immediately cashable tricks. These are tricks you can win off the top assuming no enemy ruff.
On this deal you have two top hearts, two top diamonds (because of the opening lead into your A-Q) and one top club. Adding this to your trump tricks gives you a total of eight top tricks. Therefore, you need two more tricks to make your contract.
On this deal you might gain one trick by ruffing a heart, and another by establishing your long diamond (or ruffing it in dummy if it is not good). Another possibility is to try ruff two clubs in your hand.
It is important to understand that tricks are gained by ruffing only when the ruffing hand has equal or fewer trumps than the opposite hand. Consequently, tricks can be gained only by ruffs in one hand.
On this deal Wests lead of the J is probably top of a sequence, though it does not indicate anything about Wests length.
On this deal you will win the Q (or the ace if East plays the king). The best plan is to try for two club ruffs. Since you must lose the lead, you cannot afford to draw two rounds of trumps (an opponent may lead a third trump).
Therefore, you should cash one top trump, then lead a club to the jack. This will surely lose. Win any return and cash a second top trump. Then proceed to ruff two clubs. This ensures your contract assuming a 3-2 trump break.
© 1993 Richard Pavlicek