Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Western Cue Bid



Some time ago a pair of players had a hand much like this one:

West          East
K2           53
AK974     32
KJ98        AQT742
96          AJ4

West            North            East            South
1H                1S                  2D               2S
3D                Pass               4C               Pass
4D                Pass               5D               Pass
Pass              Pass 

East played in 5 Diamonds and went down one after a Spade lead. North took two Spade winners, and the defense later got a Club trick when the Heart suit did not divide well.

This is a disaster for East-West because West can make 3 No Trump. There is no defense to it. How do you think the bidding should have gone? Some players thought that West should bid No Trump instead of raising Diamonds, but that seems like a biased view. For all West knew, slam in Diamonds was available.

There is a convention that would have gotten West to 3 No Trump. It has many names, but the most popular is the Western Cue bid.

The way it works is simple. The opponents have bid a suit but your side is marked with most of the HCP. If your side has not found a major suit fit and if it is clear that your side does not have a major suit contract available, a cue-bid of the opponents’ suit does not show a control, as do many cue-bids. It instead says, “I think we can make 3 No Trump if you have a stopper in their suit.” In other words, it's "asking" and not "telling."

On this hand, East could have bid 3 Spades instead of 4 Clubs, asking, "Do you have a spade stopper?" West does have a Spade stopper and bids 3 No Trump. West is not worried about Clubs because East has suggested that the hand be played in no trump, so East must not be worried about Clubs. Further, no one has bid them and East rates to have something in Clubs given he has shown a good hand. In any event, West must trust his partner that Clubs won't be a problem and answer East's question, "Do you have a Spade stopper?" by bidding 3N.

Here is another example.

West          East
AQ          874
87           QJ92
AKJ875    Q942
JT8         A9
West            North            East   South
                                                  1H
2D                P                  3D      P
3H*               P                  3N      P
P                  P
* Western Cue

South opens 1 Heart and West bids 2 Diamonds. West does not have enough to double first and so is obliged to overcall. East makes a good raise to 3 Diamonds. Do not forget to raise your partner’s overcalls when you have support. A raise does a lot of good. West can see six likely Diamond tricks, and with South opening the bidding it is pretty sure that if a Spade finesse is needed, it will work. So West bids 3 Hearts, asking if East has a Heart stopper. He does and he bids 3 No Trump as requested because 3 No Trump will make almost all the time. It would take extremely bad luck to go down.

One big advantage to the Western Cue bid is that the person with the stopper is declarer, so the lead will be by her LHO and thus into her stopper. If the person without the stopper is playing the hand, the lead will go through the person with the stopper, which often means that it's not a stopper after all.

Western Cue only applies when you do not have a major suit fit. If you do have a major suit fit, cue bidding opponents' suit generally means you have first round control, either a void or the ace of that suit.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reopening Doubles



When you add any bid to your repertoire, you give up something. When you play negative doubles, you give up the ability to double some low-level bids by opponents for penalty.
Even a lot of experienced players aren’t aware of the fact that the reopening double is an integral part of the negative double system. What if you’re in third seat and the bidding goes 1 Heart by your partner then 2 Diamonds by your RHO? It’s now your bid and you hold the following cards:

A86
95
AKJ86
K42

You could bid 2 No Trump, but wouldn’t you like to hit 2 Diamonds? Alas, you can’t double it because that would be a negative double, wouldn’t it? And it won’t do you any good to make a negative double for two reasons. First, you don’t have the bid. You don’t have four Spades. Second, you want it to be a penalty double, not a negative double. So how can you defend 2 Diamonds doubled in this hand? You clearly cannot double because your partner will respond as she has to in the negative double system.

The answer is that if your partner opens the bidding followed by a bid at the 2 level by your RHO, and you pass and your LHO passes, your partner must double with shortness in the suit bid by opponents and tolerance for the unbid suits. Shortness, in this context, means no more than a doubleton. So if your partner has two or less of your RHO’s suit, she should double. To be specific, here’s how the bidding goes.

Partner             RHO                You      LHO
1 Spade            2 Diamonds      Pass     Pass
?

In the previous situation, your partner should protect you by doubling when it’s her turn. Then you can either let it sit for penalty, which you would do with the above hand, or pull it by either bidding your partner’s suit at the 2 level if you can, or making the best bid you have under the circumstances.

This is called a reopening double because it’s made by the opening bidder, and she’s reopening the bidding by doubling since, with two passes to her, if she passes, the bidding will stop. If she doesn’t bid or double, the auction is over.
Of course, you might have a legitimate pass, too. You might not be passing because you have opponents’ suit. You might have the following:

862
75
T96
QT873

If you have this holding and your partner makes a reopening double, you should just pull the double and support your partner’s opening suit, in which she’ll have at least a 5–2 fit. Your partner anticipates this. Her double is just inviting you to let it stand for penalty if you have a lot of opponents’ suit. If you don’t, just retreat to the best contract. If you retreat, your partner will know you passed because you don’t have much.

Requirements for a reopening double are as follows:

          A reopening double can be made only by opening bidder;

          After LHO has overcalled and there are two passes by your partner and your RHO.

          Opening bidder has two or less cards in overcalled suit.

          Opening bidder must have tolerance (at least 3 cards) for all unbid suits.

          Opening bidder’s hand cannot be distributional.

As to the last rule above, if opener has a long suit, six cards or more, or is 5–5–2–1, she should either rebid her six-card suit, in the former, or bid her second suit in the latter. Look at the following two hands:

1. J5       2.   J75
    
AQT864   AKT864
    
8             8
    
AQT8       AK9

Bidding:

You             LHO                     Partner        RHO
1 Heart        2 Diamonds          Pass           Pass
?

How do you, as opening bidder, respond with each?

Hand 1: 2 Hearts. This is not a hand with which you should use a reopening double. True, you have a singleton in your LHO’s suit. And, true, your partner is almost certainly sitting behind your LHO with a lot of Diamonds. But your hand has two shortcomings that make it inappropriate for a reopening double:

                        You don’t have tolerance for all unbid suits. Your Spade doubleton is insufficient for support if your partner responds to your double with a bid of 2 Spades. Remember, your partner might be short in your suit. So if you double and your partner doesn’t want to sit for the penalty double at the 2 level, she has to either support your suit if she has two cards in it, or bid her longest suit. If she has five Diamonds but not enough to sit for the double, her longest suit might be Spades. She could be 4–1–4–4, so she would be forced to bid Spades, and you can’t support her.

                        Your hand isn’t strong enough. You really only have two fairly certain tricks, your two Aces. Remember, you have to take six tricks to set them. Otherwise they’re going to get a terrific score, making two or more, doubled!

Hand 2: Double. This is a very good hand with which to make a reopening double for two reasons:

                        You have tolerance for both unbid suits, so if your partner can’t support your Heart bid you have at least three cards in the unbid suits. The worst that can happen is that your partner will be playing in a 4–3 fit at the two level, not a disaster.

                        You have a good hand, with two Ace–King combinations. In a defense you have good trick-taking capability.

Remember this: Just because you have an opening hand and shortness in LHO’s suit, you don’t automatically make a reopening double. Your hand must fit the requirements in addition to shortness and the appropriate bidding after your open.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Play When You are Sick



This happened yesterday. My partner and I were playing in a club game, sitting east-west. When we came to the third table my RHO, wheezing and sniffing said, "Welcome to the sick table." My partner, Gail, a registered nurse, and I looked at each other. I asked, "you're both sick?" My RHO replied, yes.

Gail and I looked at each other again, and we were both unhappy. We both know that one of the best ways to spread a cold is to play cards when you are sick. I said, "This is very upsetting. You should not play when you are sick. You expose everybody in the room to your illness. I don't want to get sick for two weeks just because you want to play bridge. Playing bridge when you are ill is selfish and inconsiderate."

Gail added, "Please cover your mouths with your hands when you cough."

Both of our comments were met with embarrassed silence. My LHO is an experienced player and should have known better. He was sicker and quieter at our reaction. Let me say here that these are both very nice people and Gail and I like them.

One of the best ways a cold is spread is by ill people playing cards. Since they were sitting north-south and we were sitting east-west, we were only exposed to their coughing their germs over us for the 20 minutes we were at their table. However, the people sitting north-south, the same direction that our ill opponents were sitting, will touch their cards, not knowing that they have been handled by people with a communicable illness. They will then put their hands to their face, maybe pick up something to eat, do a lot of things that can expose them to the germs that been left on the cards.

Whenever I learn before a bridge game that there is somebody in the game with a communicable illness, most often a cold, I decline to participate and go home. But when the people who are ill don't tell anybody and the game starts, you're stuck. Similarly, I won't play if I am ill with a cold, not because I don't feel like it, but because I don't want to expose anyone else to my cold. I'll only play if people are aware of my cold and still urge me to play.

After the dialogue Gail and I were seething that we were being exposed to these people's illnesses simply because they selfishly wanted to play bridge and didn't care about exposing everybody else to their colds. We discussed it with other east-west players after the game and they all commented that they were irritated by being exposed, kept as far away from them as they could and left the table as quickly as possible.

The game progressed and we picked up our hands. Here is the layout:

Dealer: South
                        North
                        ♠ K8652
                        ♥ AJ
                        ♦ 874
                        ♣ A63


Tony                                        Gail
♠ Q7                                        ♠ AJT94
♥ 74                                        ♥ KQ65
♦ KJ962                                   ♦ QT
♣ Q874                                    ♣ T9

                        South
                        ♠ 3
                        ♥ T9832
                        ♦ A53
                        ♣ KJ52

Bidding:
West (Tony)   North     East (Gail)  South
                                                   P
P                1S             P               1N
P                P               D               P
P                P
Bidding: Gail and I have an established partnership, so our bidding is a little different than what might be standard for most people. As I have indicated in prior columns I strive to defend 1N doubled. Here, North opened in third seat and Gail passed. This does not mean that she is a  "passed hand." As her partner, I recognize that she could have an opening hand but no bid. With 12 HCP, she has 4 hearts, but she cannot double because she cannot support any suit that I bid, and she is not strong enough to double and then bid her own suit which, when she bids a major suit, promises at least 17 HCP. So she must pass here. 

However, when 1N is passed around to her, she is strong enough to double because of our partnership agreement. Our partnership agreement is that if opponents' bidding shows weakness and you are in the passout seat you should double 1N with 10 HCP. Here, a third seat opening (often less than an opening hand) followed by a 1N response and a pass by opening bidder, couldn't be weaker. So Gail doubled, asking me to pass if I had a hand with defensive values. 

Although I only had eight HCP, I had a fairly good five card diamond suit headed by two honors and Queens in 2 other suits. From the bidding I assumed that Gail probably had an opening hand, so I passed for penalty. We wanted to get a top board, but equally persuasive, we wanted our opponents to remember this for a long time.

Play: Normally there are rules for what the double of a No Trump bid calls for in terms of lead. Here, when neither of us has made a bid, a double would generally call for the lead of dummy's first bid suit, a spade. 

However there are things that mitigate against this. The first is that Gail is sitting behind spade bidder so after she takes the first trick what she leads back is strictly a guess. I, of course, don't know that she has such a wonderful running spade suit. If I lead the queen, if declarer covers with the king Gail takes 4 spades off the top. If the queen isn't covered, she takes 3 spades, but in the meantime I will probably have to jettison some of my diamonds on her spade leads, so even if I knew about the high quality of Gail's suit, I don't think a spade lead is as good as my diamond lead. 

As I have said in a prior column, the rules for opening lead against a doubled 1N contract are subservient if you have a better lead in your hand. I already knew that Gail liked spades. She knew nothing about my hand. Since I had a pretty good five card suit I can tell her about it now, and this might be the only chance I have to tell her about it because it's unlikely I'm going to get in any time soon. 

So I led the six of diamonds, fourth from longest and strongest. Gail played the Queen, which held, and returned the 10, which declarer took with her ace. After that, it was brutal. Declarer only took 4 tricks, losing 3 diamonds, 2 clubs, 2 hearts, and 2 spades. I got in with the club queen to make my two diamonds which had set up (I had had to sluff one of my diamonds while hearts were being played). And then I returned the Queen of spades through the King on the board, so Gail got two spade tricks. If you're interested, you can play the hand yourself, but the result was that we took nine tricks for down three doubled, +800 for us. Everybody else in the room set 1N, but we were the only ones who doubled.

So the moral here is, if you're sick and aren't the least bit considerate about infecting your opponents, there is karma in this world and you might find yourself down 800. Don't play when you're sick.

Monday, November 26, 2012

What to Lead?





What to Lead?
Here's your hand as West and dummy's which is your LHO:
Auction:
West                North               East     South
                        1D                   P          1H
P                      1S                    P          2C
P                      2D                   P           2N
P                      3N                   P           P
P

                        North
                        ♠ AQ63
                        ♥ A
                        ♦ AJT942
                        ♣ 53


West                                       
♠ T852                                   
♥ QT54                                  
  5                                         
♣ Q953                                    

                         
You lead the club 3, partner plays the king and declarer plays low. Partner returns the club 4 and declarer takes the Ace. Declarer leads a low heart to the ace and a low diamond back to her King, and follows with the 3 of diamonds, losing the finesse to your partner's Queen and partner returns the Jack of Clubs which you overtake with your Queen and take the 9 as the ten fell from declarer's hand on the lead of the jack. Now, here's what's facing you: 



                        North
                        ♠ AQ6
                       
                        ♦ AJT9
                       
West                                       
♠ T85                                     
♥ QT54                                  
                                               
                                              

You can lead either a spade or a heart. You've got your book, so all you need is one more trick to set the contract. What do you lead? You look at the board and realize that all four diamonds are good. If declarer has the king of spades, the hand is over if you lead a spade. But who has the king of spades? Maybe declarer has both the king of spades and the king of hearts. If so, the hand is over anyway. But if declarer has the king of hearts and not the king of spades, you can only set the contract if you lead a spade.

You shouldn't be tempted to lead through the void because declarer's first call was hearts and her second call of 2C should promise five hearts. Also, if she bid a five card suit, you can clearly see that she lacks the AQT. Did she bid a five card suit headed by only the J empty fifth? While that's not impossible, it's implausible. Further, if she lacks both the king and the queen, would she immediately lead to the singleton ace of hearts? Unlikely because that would give you two heart tricks if you got in.

Another factor mitigating against your leading hearts is that you are undoubtedly giving her two heart tricks because you will be leading into her KJ from your queen. Since you have the queen, that gives her two tricks to take and sluff her two losing spades on. The facts that she bid hearts, that you have the queen ten, and that she immediately led to the singleton Ace all mitigate towards the conclusion that she has the king of hearts and that your partner could have the king of spades.

In the actual hand, West led a heart from her queen-ten, giving declarer two heart tricks so she could sluff the two spade losers and make the contract. Here's the four hand layout:

                        North
                        ♠ AQ63
                        ♥ A
                        ♦ AJT942
                        ♣ 53


West                                        East
♠ T852                                     ♠ KJ4
♥ QT54                                     ♥ 973
  5                                          ♦ Q87
♣ Q953                                     ♣ KJ73

                        South
                        ♠ 97
                        ♥ KJ862
                        ♦ K63
                        ♣ AT8

By leading a spade, declarer either has to finesse immediately and lose the king, or go up with the ace, run the diamonds and then lose the last two tricks. But even if she finesses and loses the king, a savvy East will take the king and immediately return a diamond, putting her back on the board so she'll still lose two spade tricks and go down 2. A heart lead makes the contract.

This isn't even a thinker. You must lead a spade. If declarer has the king, then she makes the contract. The odds that she lacks the king of hearts (along with the Ace, Queen, and Ten), the suit she bid, are slim and none. So you have little to lose by leading the spade.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How to Play Against the opening lead of a Queen in No Trump



How do you bid this hand sitting in third seat after partner opens 1C and RHO passes?

KJ72
Q97
K98
AJ5

The standard response would be to bid your four card spade suit. However, there are sound reasons that mitigate against this in favor of a 1N response. That sounds like heresy to most bridge players, since they are generally trying to find a major suit fit. However, when both hands have a 4-3-3-3 distribution, it is often better to play in No Trump even though you might have a 4-4 fit in a major suit.

Another reason to bid no Trump with this hand is that you have stoppers in all four suits. If you respond one spade it's likely your partner's rebid will be one no Trump, so she will be playing the hand if you go to three no Trump, which is probably the only reasonable game contract for this since you don't have a 4-4 fit in spades. And that's what happened with this hand. This hand responded 1S, partner responded 1NT and this hand jumped to 3N, resulting in big trouble because declarer did not have diamonds stopped. If you bid No Trump, you'll be playing the contract in 3NT, your LHO will be on lead, leading into you. A diamond lead cannot hurt you. Here are the four hands:

                 North
                 Q9864
                 32
                 54
                 K743


West                           East
KJ72                         AT5
Q97                          AKT8
K98                          763
AJ5                          Q98

                 South
                 3
                 J654
                 AQJT2
                 T62
West          North         East  South
                                  1C      P
1S             P                1N     P
3N             P                P       P

Opening lead: QD

You are playing East in 3N. How do you play against the QD lead? Assuming opponents are playing standard leads, the Queen could be from one of two holdings: QJT(x,x) or AQJx(x). You've got three diamonds on the board. If the lead is the second holding, the King will take the trick. If it's from the first holding North has the ace and if you play the King you'll lose your stopper. What to do? 

The way this should be played is that you duck the first trick. However, when the Queen holds and South follows with the Jack, you must go up with the King. The reason is that if you duck this and South wins and was leading from AQJ he will then play the ace, capturing your King and you lose the first five tricks. However, all is not lost if you play the King on the second lead and North takes it with the ace, because the odds are that if South started with five diamonds, North only has two and will not be able to return a diamond to South's hand for her to take her remaining three tricks. So you duck the first lead and go up with the second lead, which takes the trick.

Now the hand is pretty much cold. You've lost two tricks, but you've got three hearts, two spades, and a club, along with your diamond. That's seven tricks. You can afford to lose two more. When you lead your second heart and discover that South had a singleton, you can then finesse North's Jack and take four heart tricks. You have two finesses you can try, spades and clubs. You clearly cannot take a finesse into South and take the risk that it loses, because South will then set the contract by taking the rest of his diamonds. So you take the club finesse and it loses. That gives you a second club trick. So you end up taking four hearts, at least two spades, two clubs, and a diamond, making your contract.

However, if West bids this correctly and disdains responding with her four card spade suit, responding 3N instead of 1S, the hand is much easier because the lead will be into her, with stoppers in all four suits. Also, as the hands lie, she'll get a spade lead, which will give her a third spade trick without having to take a finesse. She will never have to touch the diamonds.

Alas, there is a big problem with responding 1N instead of 1S. Partner may pass your 1N bid. So, to avoid this, since you have 13 high card points, you must just jump immediately to 3N, avoiding the possibility of partner passing out the hand when you should be in game.

So there are two lessons here:

1. If partner opens a minor suit and your distribution is 4-3-3-3 with a four card major and you have a game forcing hand with stoppers and all suits, bypass your four card major and respond 3N.


2. When declaring in No Trump, if the opening lead is a Queen through Kxx on the board, duck the first round and go up with the King on the second lead of the Jack.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take Advantage of Opponent's Tell



Here's a hand where we got to slam only because of my partner's fine forcing bid.

                        North
                        ♠ JT95
                        ♥ 65
                        ♦ JT82
                        ♣ 943


West                                        East
♠ K                                           ♠ AQ632
♥ 872                                       ♥ AKJT43
♦ AKQ9                                     ♦ 4
♣ QT865                                   ♣ J

                        South
                        ♠ 874
                        ♥ Q9
                        ♦ 7653
                        ♣ AK72

Auction:
West                North               East     South
                                                          P
1D                   P                      1H        P
2C                   P                      3S        P
6H                   P                      P          P

Opening Lead AC

Bidding Commentary: I opened 1D. This is the only time when you may open a shorter minor, when you have an opening hand but are 4-5 in diamonds and clubs. You aren't strong enough to reverse if you open 1C and then make a 2D call on your first rebid, so you don't really have a rebid if you open 1C and partner responds in a major. So here you open 1D and your first rebid is 2C, showing a minimum hand, even though partner will probably think your diamonds are longer or of equal length. Partner had a huge, 4 loser hand, so instead of just reversing by bidding 2S, which would show an opening hand as responder, she jumped to 3S, game-forcing and slam invitational. That gave me the opportunity to go to slam. However, since she jumped, I don't have a forcing bid. I can't bid 4N because that would require her to respond as if spades, the last bid suit, were trump, since trump had not been agreed upon. If I bid 4H, she will just pass. We have never discussed what 5H would be here, so I couldn't do that. I took a chance, trusted her, and placed the contract in 6H, even though I had a bare opening bid with three of my points a singleton King (but it was in her second bid suit).
Play commentary: There are only two things partner had to do to make six. First, she had to trump one spade after getting rid of the singleton king on the board before cashing her Ace and Queen and before drawing trump. So she took the King, led a trump to her Ace and trumped a low Spade, because she could only discard two losing spades on the diamonds, and she had three losing spades in her hand. She then led her remaining trump on the board to her hand where she held the K-J. Her RHO hesitated and then played low. My partner didn't hesitate or think. The odds are that four cards will split 3-1 50% of the time (they divide 2-2 41% of the time and 4-0 9% of the time). But because my partner had played against her RHO often and knew her to be a player of low bridge integrity (I hesitate to use the word "cheater"), knew that her hesitation was a ploy to make my partner think she was hesitating trying to decide whether or not to play the Queen. It's a really stupid way to cheat because there's no reason to even think about playing the queen, but my partner told me afterwards that the reason she didn't play the odds and take the finesse was because of her RHO's illegal hesitation. It is illegal because you must play in tempo. While it is OK to think if there's actually a decision to be made, it's not OK to appear to be thinking when there's nothing to think about, in order to mislead declarer. Because of my partner's knowledge of her RHO, she immediately recognized her hesitation as what they would call in poker a tell.
In a nine table game, only one other pair bid slam.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Control Your Entries As Declarer



Here's your hand, sitting south in third seat:

K4
5
987642
AT93

Partner opens 1H in first seat. Regardless of what system you play, Standard American or 2/1, you can only respond 1N here, even though you have a six card suit and a singleton.  You have 7 HCP, so you must bid. You're too weak to bid your deplorably bad diamond suit.

Partner reverses with 2S (which promises at least 17 HCP and 5-4 distribution, or 6-5 with opening hand values). You have to bid again. But the value of a reverse is that it promises at least 17 HCP, so some of the values you know for bids are now less. For instance, normally a second bid by responder of 2N promises 11-12 HCP. But since you know partner has at least 17 HCP instead of a maximum of 14 HCP with a normal response, your bid of 2N will now only need 8-9 HCP. Even though you only have 7 HCP, you do have a six card suit. And, anyway, you don't have any other response. You can't raise spades since partner probably only has 4 and you clearly can't raise hearts with a singleton. Really your only bid with this hand is 2N. If your diamonds were better, like AQxxxx, then you could bid 3D, which would generally be a drop dead bid that partner should pass.

But you do have clubs stopped, and your diamond suit, weak as it is, is long enough that it is stopped enough so that opponents shouldn't take more than three tricks in it, if that. So your only bid is 2N, even though you only have seven HCP. Partner with a huge hand containing 19 HCP bids 3N. Here's the four hand layout:


                 North
                 AJT6
                 KQT74
                 A3
                 KQ


West                           East
852                          Q973
AJ92                         863
JT                             KQ5
J862                         754

                 South
                 K4
                 5
                 987642
                 AT93



Auction:

West          North         East  South
                 1H             P       1N
P               2S             P       2N
P               3N             All Pass
 

Opening Lead 2C.

Before I comment on declarer play, I want to say that even though it's standard to lead fourth from your longest suit as an opening lead against no-trump, leading low from a jack high four card suit is generally a destructive lead because the Jack will stop a suit and if you lead from it declarer often wins the trick with the 10. If the dummy in this hand had KQx instead of KQ tight, it's a perfect example of how a lead from Jxxx gives declarer a trick she wouldn't get otherwise. Playing low from dummy, she takes the trick with her Ten in her hand. She'd never get that trick if the lead from Jxxx isn't made.
As to declarer play, you count your tricks. You've got three club tricks (because the King Queen is tight on the board, you can't take the opening lead with your 10, so West's Jack will end up taking a trick if you try to take all three club tricks), one diamond trick, three spade tricks, and one or two heart tricks. But as the hearts actually lie, you're only going to take one heart trick because if you lead your singleton and West plays low, you have to lead the hearts from the board and you're doomed to lose to the ace and the Jack, at least.
So your only hope to make three no-trump on this hand is to hope for a 3-2 split in diamonds. It doesn't matter where the honors are. What is important, however, is that you keep two entries to your hand, because you have to lead diamonds three times to set up three diamond tricks, which means you have to get to your hand twice, and you only have two entries.
So you take the opening lead on the board with the Queen of clubs, lead the ace of diamonds and a low diamond, ridding the board of diamonds, which is won by East's Queen. Now there is only one diamond out. East returns a club to the singleton King on the board. But you must take this in your hand with the ace, even though you have to drop the singleton King on the board under it, because if you play low so that the king wins on the board, you only have one entry to your hand, the king of spades. Here's the layout at the point East leads his second club:

                 North
                 AJT6
                 KQT74
                
                 K


West                           East
852                          Q973
AJ92                         863
                                K
J86                           75

                 South
                 K4
                 5
                 9876
                 AT9


If you use the king of spades to get to your hand to play another diamond to get the last diamond out, you can't get back to your hand to play the three good diamonds that you set up because you don't have another entry. 
So you have to play the ace and drop the king under it. You lead your third diamond. East takes it and returns a club. West wins the jack and returns a spade, which you win in your hand with the king over East's 9. You've made your contract; four diamonds, three clubs (your 9 held up for the last club trick), and two spades without ever touching dummy's beautiful hearts.