~Two Playing Hands

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North
S A7
H AJT6
D A95
C J864

West
S JT652
H K7
D QT73
C T3

South
S K4
H Q52
D K842
C A752

East
S Q983
H 9843
D J6
C KQ9
Contract: 3NT in the South
Lead: J of spades
Commentary: You have six winners; you do not have enough stoppers to set up two diamonds and 3 hearts. Unless the heart finesse works and West holds 2-3 hearts, including the K, you will be set. Win the lead with the K and lead a low heart toward dummy and finesse unless the K is played by West. If the finesse works, return to the South hand and lead another low heart toward dummy and finesse again if the K does not fall.
North
S J94
H A2
D AJT987
C 65

West
S 5
H KQJT73
D 62
C AT98

South
S AKQT762
H 4
D 53
C K32

East
S 83
H 9865
D KQ4
C QJ74
Contract: 5S South
Lead: K of hearts

Commentary: Making 4S is easy. How do you make 5S? The double finesse in diamonds is an unlikely option; yet you must keep East off lead or risk two club loses. There is an elegant solution: let West hold the first trick. You now have no diamond losers and can set up the diamond suit for discards. Now, if West leads anything other than the club A, you will take the remaining tricks, making six spades. Note that you can save the 2 of spades in your hand and the four of spades becomes an entry if spades split 2-1. Then if diamonds split 4-1, you have the needed entry to dummy.

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