Puzzle 7F11   Main

A Half-Dozen Hearts

  by Richard Pavlicek

Instead of a dozen roses, all I can afford is a half-dozen hearts. Looking at all four hands, can you make six hearts on this deal? It’s not as easy as it might look!

6 H South
N-S Vul
S J 6 5 4 3
H A K 3 2
D 2
C 4 3 2

All Pass

4 H

5 C
1 H
6 H
S 10 9 8 7
D 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
C 7
TableS 2
H J 10
D K Q J 10
C K Q J 10 9 8
Lead: C 7 S A K Q
H 9 8 7 6 5 4
C A 6 5

Can you make 6 H?


At first it looks simple. All you have to do is draw trumps and discard your two club losers on the long spades to make an overtrick. Hold it! How are you going to get to dummy after cashing the H A-K? There is no way, and you will eventually have to lose two club tricks.

The key play is to concede a trump trick to the queen — call it a Valentine’s Day gift. Win the opening club lead and duck a heart to West. No matter what he returns you will win a second round of trumps, unblock the spades, and reach dummy with a third trump lead.

Puzzle 7F11   MainTop   A Half-Dozen Hearts

© 1994 Richard Pavlicek