Puzzle 7F13   Main

# Slam in the Twilight Zone

by Richard Pavlicek

The late Rod Serling would have an appeal for this deal, as the winning play and defense are definitely out of the Twilight Zone. So might also be the bidding, as you save the opponents from a huge penalty on their deathly misfit. Did you really want to play 6  that bad? Well, there you are, as East expresses his opinion with a final double.

 6 × SouthNone Vul Q 4 3 2 K 10 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 — WEST1 5 Pass NorthPassDblPass East1 5 Dbl South5 6 All Pass — A Q J 9 8 7 6 K J 10 9 8 7 — J 10 9 8 7 6 5 — — 8 7 6 5 4 3 Lead: A A K — A Q 6 5 A K Q J 10 9 2

A diamond lead (ruffed by East) would seal your fate in a hurry, but West tries to cash his A.

Can 6 now be made? Decide whether you would rather play or defend.

## Solution

On the A assume East pitches a spade and you ruff. Six rounds of trumps will pick up East’s half dozen, then you can cash A-K and exit with a low diamond to endplay West. Nice try, but West will keep four diamonds and just stuff you back in your hand — down one. If only you could get to dummy.

Aha! Maybe East can be your stepping-stone. Instead of ruffing low, ruff the A high, then cash five top trumps and A-K.

 6 × South Q 4 3 2 K 10 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 — Trick1 W2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S Lead A A K 10 J Q K A 2nd2 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 3rd 5 3 4 5 2 323 4th 93456767 W-LW1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8 — A Q J 9 8 7 6 K J 10 9 8 7 — J 10 9 8 7 6 5 — — 8 7 6 5 4 3 Lead: A A K — A Q 6 5 A K Q J 10 9 2

This leaves the following ending:

 win 4Success Q 4 K 10 4 — Trick9 S10 E Lead 2! J 2nd 10 5 3rd 4? 4th8 W-LL1 — Q J K J 10 — J 10 9 8 — — 8 South leads — — A Q 6 5 2 West is squeezed

Now exit with the 2, pitching a spade from dummy. East must feed dummy the Q, and West is squeezed on the same trick. A heart pitch makes the 10 good; else the A will drop the king. That should teach East a lesson about doubling you.