Puzzle 7F16   Main

# A Ruff and a Sluff

by Richard Pavlicek

You are playing a contract of 6 and the opponents are kind enough to lead a club to give you a ruff and sluff. How do you make your slam contract? Careful, it’s tricky!

 6 SouthNone Vul 5 4 3 2 K Q J 10 9 J 10 9 8 — West2 Pass North2 6 East5 All Pass SOUTH1 5 6 3 2 K 7 6 5 K Q J 10 9 8 7 A 8 7 Q 2 A 7 6 5 4 3 2 Lead: K A K Q J 10 9 8 6 5 4 A 4 3 —

Assume you ruff the first trick in dummy and discard a diamond. After drawing trumps you will lead hearts, but East will duck the first two rounds; then you will have no entry to dummy and must lose a heart and a diamond. What about discarding a heart from your hand at trick one? Or maybe you should ruff in your hand and discard from dummy? Try to figure it out yourself before reading further.

## Solution

The only solution is to ruff the opening lead in both hands. Draw the enemy trumps, then lead hearts twice as East is forced to duck to shut out dummy.

 6 South 5 4 3 2 K Q J 10 9 J 10 9 8 — Trick1 W2 S3 S4 N Lead K A 4 Q 2nd 2638 3rd23K5 4th 8!772 W-LW1W2W3W4 6 3 2 K 7 6 5 K Q J 10 9 8 7 A 8 7 Q 2 A 7 6 5 4 3 2 Lead: K A K Q J 10 9 8 6 5 4 A 4 3 —

This is what remains:

 win 8Success 5 4 J 10 9 J 10 9 8 — Trick5 N Lead J 2nd? 3rd 4th W-L — — K 7 6 5 Q J 10 9 8 — A Q 2 A 7 6 5 4 3 North leads K Q J 10 9 6 A 4 3 —

Next lead the J, and it makes no difference if East covers or if West holds up his king. You will continue to lead diamonds and eventually discard your remaining heart on dummy’s fourth diamond — else get a useful ruff-sluff if West leads another club.

Touche!

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