As South on each deal, which suit will you establish and how will you go about it?
You ruff the second heart lead.What next?
The longest side suit is spades, but if you attempt to establish this suit you will require a 3-2 break in both spades and trumps. Much better is to establish the diamonds you can survive 4-2 diamonds and 4-1 clubs with careful play.
After ruffing the second heart, do not touch trumps! Lead a diamond to the king, back to your ace, then ruff a diamond with the 8. Assuming diamonds are 4-2, return to your hand with the A and ruff another diamond with the 9. Finally, lead the 2, draw all the trumps and claim.
The instinctive play is to win the K and draw trumps, but then you will need a 3-3 break in whichever side suit you try to establish. Also note that you cannot combine your chances by trying to set up either suit you must commit yourself to hearts or diamonds.
The key play is to duck the opening lead, retaining your diamond entry to dummy. As long as there is no singleton diamond, your contract is home. If another diamond is led win the K and ruff a diamond immediately; now you can draw trumps and claim.
You win the A and draw trumps.What do you pitch from dummy?
You have 12 solid tricks, and the 13th must come from establishing hearts or diamonds. In hearts you will need a 3-3 break because your singleton diamond gives you only one outside entry. In diamonds you will need a 4-3 break. Which break is more likely? Diamonds! (Bridge is an easy game. All you have to do is set up diamonds every time, ha.)
Draw the enemy trumps (do not discard a diamond), win the A-K and ruff a diamond. Cross to North with a heart and ruff another diamond. The fifth diamond is now good, except on a bad day.
© 1997 Richard Pavlicek