Puzzles 7F02   Main

by Richard Pavlicek

Vote for me, and I promise you that I will promise anything to keep my campaign afloat. Each of these 6  contracts can be made with a tricky play. Trust me. I am not a crook.

 6 South 8 7 6 8 A K Q 6 5 J 8 5 2 Both Vul WestPassPassAll Pass North2 4 EastPassPass SOUTH1 3 6 9 5 3 K Q 6 5 4 2 4 Q 7 6 4 A J 10 9 7 3 J 3 2 K 10 9 Lead: K A K Q J 10 2 — 10 9 8 7 A 4 3

Twelve tricks look easy until you realize the diamond suit is blocked. If you ruff the opening lead, draw trumps and run diamonds, you can only win four diamond tricks; after cashing A-K-Q you will be left with the 10 opposite dummy’s 6-5 and no way to reach the fifth diamond. With 10-9-8-7 there is no way to unblock in the usual fashion.

The winning play is to discard a diamond at trick one instead of ruffing. Then no matter which suit is led, you will be able to draw trumps and run the entire diamond suit on which you will discard your two small clubs.

 6 South 8 7 6 A 8 5 4 2 A Q 10 8 7 — None Vul WestPassPassPass North2 3 6 EastPassPassAll Pass SOUTH2 2 3 9 5 3 K 10 9 3 6 J 10 9 8 4 4 Q J 7 6 K J 9 7 6 5 3 2 Lead: J A K Q J 10 2 — 5 4 3 2 A K Q

You have 11 top tricks, but the foul diamond division makes a 12th trick elusive. If you try to discard three of dummy’s diamonds on top clubs then ruff a diamond in dummy (after losing a diamond), you will fail because West will ruff in front of dummy with his 9.

The winning play is to establish dummy’s long heart which requires four entries to dummy. To achieve this you must ruff all of your high clubs in dummy! Ruff the opening club lead; heart ruff; club ruff; heart ruff; club ruff; heart ruff; then draw trumps. The  8 is established and you still have the A as an entry.

 6 South 8 7 6 A K 2 9 8 6 Q J 5 4 None Vul WestPassPassAll Pass North2 NT4 EastPassPass SOUTH2 3 6 9 5 3 Q J 10 9 4 3 Q 10 3 2 4 8 7 6 5 K J 10 2 9 8 7 6 Lead: Q A K Q J 10 2 — A 7 5 4 3 A K