Main     Puzzle 7F22 by Richard Pavlicek    

Crazy Eights

You may not approve of the bidding, particularly by North. Was 4 D natural? Waiting? A control-bid in non-support of clubs? Who knows, but it meets my only criterion for an excellent bid: It was sufficient. At least South’s bidding is easy to understand, though a tad optimistic.

Problem
6 C S A 8 5 4 3
H 6 5 4 3 2
D A K 10
C
None Vul

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass


North
1 S
2 H
4 D


East
Pass
Pass
Pass


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

West found the best lead. Note that a heart would give you the contract outright, and either black suit would allow you to establish the fifth spade, utilizing three diamond entries.

Would you rather play or defend?

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Solution

Six clubs can be made. The crucial early play goes against the grain of normal technique: You must win the diamond lead in dummy (ace or king) wasting an entry, then lead the D 10 to your queen — frightening in real life. Next lead five rounds of trumps. If West ever pitches a heart, you can simply duck a heart; but that would be too easy.

Solution
6 C S A 8 5 4 3
H 6 5 4 3 2
D A K 10
C
Trick
1. W
2. N
3. S
4. S
5. S
6. S
7. S
W 7 L 0
Lead
D 5
D 10
C A
C K
C Q
C J
C 10
2nd
K
3
2
3
D 6
S 7
S J
3rd
2
Q
H 2
H 3
H 4
S 3
S 4
4th
7
4
4
5
6
7
H 9
S K Q J 7
H A 7
D J 9 6 5 4
C 3 2
Table S 10 9 6
H Q J 10 9
D 3 2
C 7 6 5 4
S 2
H K 8
D Q 8 7
C A K Q J 10 9 8

From the ending at right, cross to the S A, ruff a spade, and lead your last trump. West must throw a diamond, as North and East throw hearts. Then lead the D 8 to the ace, which catches East in a vice squeeze. East must hold a high spade to guard the S 8, so he can keep only one heart; then a heart to the king establishes the H 8. South
leads
S A 8 5
H 6 5
D A
C
S K Q
H A 7
D J 9
C
Table S 10 9 6
H Q J 10
D
C
S 2
H K 8
D 8
C 9 8

If West pitches a diamond at Trick 7, the play is different. Lead the C 9 (all hands pitch a spade) then the C 8. If West throws a spade, throw a heart from North; then lead the D 8 to the ace, squeezing East as above. If West instead throws his last diamond, you must throw the D A from North! Then the D 8 may be the craziest eight of all, completing a jettison vice squeeze. South
leads
S A 8 5
H 6 5
D A
C
S K Q J
H A 7
D J
C
Table S 10 9 6
H Q J 10
D
C
S 2
H K 8
D 8
C 9 8

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© 1994 Richard Pavlicek