# Can This Hand be made?

I was on a cruise and we were given this quiz and I never got to find the answer. I can see only 12 tricks.

The Contract is 7NT

North
S A
H KQJ109
D 987654
C 2

South
S Void
H A
D AKQJ10
C A876543

Thanks

• Of course it can be made - it wouldn't be an interesting hand otherwise. Feb 8, 2015 at 23:52

This is a lesson in a technique called "unblocking." And yes, the hand can be made in a "roundabout" way.

The first thing you should notice is that North has five tricks in hearts, from K down to 9. The thing that prevents you from taking those tricks is the "blocking" A in South's hand. So on the lead of the king of spades, declarer takes the ace of spades (one trick) in North and "unblocks" (discards) the ace of hearts from the South hand, thereby allowing North's hearts to "run."

The second thing you should notice is that North has six diamonds that can run, because they follow South's five HIGHER diamonds. But you need to get rid of South's diamonds, first. Fortunately, you can discard them on the KQJT9 of hearts. Then run your six diamonds from North, discarding 6 low clubs. Finally play the club 2 from North to South's ace.

You have one spade, five hearts, six diamonds, and one club trick, 13 tricks in all.

• Nice explanation of how the hand is read, as well as played. Feb 8, 2015 at 23:51
• @PieterGeerkens: Coming from you, highly appreciated. I'm doing my best to "get there." Feb 8, 2015 at 23:52
• Thank you very much, nicely explained and it all looks so clear now. Feb 9, 2015 at 13:47

It is doable:

Trick 1: South trashes Ace of Hearts, North takes with the Ace of Spades.

Tricks 2-6: North leads (and takes) with 9-K of Hearts, South trashes 10-A of Diamonds.

Tricks 7-12: North leads (and takes) with 4-9 of Diamonds, South trashes 3-8 of Clubs.

Trick 13: North leads Club 2 to South's Ace.