Puzzle 7F22   Main

# Crazy Eights

by Richard Pavlicek

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

 6 SouthNone Vul A 8 5 4 3 6 5 4 3 2 A K 10 — WestPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 4 EastPassPassPass South2 4 6 K Q J 7 A 7 J 9 6 5 4 3 2 10 9 6 Q J 10 9 3 2 7 6 5 4 Lead: 5 2 K 8 Q 8 7 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?

## 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 10 to your queen — frightening in real life.

 6 South A 8 5 4 3 6 5 4 3 2 A K 10 — Trick1 W2 N3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S Lead 5 10! A K Q J 10 2ndK!323 6 7 J 3rd2Q 2 3 4 3 4 4th744567 9 W-LW1W2W3W4W5W6W7 K Q J 7 A 7 J 9 6 5 4 3 2 10 9 6 Q J 10 9 3 2 7 6 5 4 Lead: 5 2 K 8 Q 8 7 A K Q J 10 9 8

Next lead five rounds of trumps. If West ever pitches a heart, you can simply duck a heart; but that would be too easy. Suppose West lets go two spades to reach this ending:

 win 5Success A 8 5 6 5 A — Trick8 S9 N10 S11 S12 N Lead 2! 5 9! 8 6 2ndQ9 9JQ 3rdA 8 5AK 4th6K 10 JA W-LW1W2W3W4L1 K Q A 7 J 9 — 10 9 6 Q J 10 — — South leads 2 K 8 8 9 8

Cross to the A, ruff a spade, and lead your last trump. West must throw a diamond, as North and East throw hearts. Then lead the 8 to the ace, which catches East in a vice squeeze. East must hold a high spade to guard the 8, so he can keep only one heart; then a heart to the king establishes the 8.

If West had pitched a diamond at Trick 7, the ending is different:

 win 5Success A 8 5 6 5 A — Trick8 S9 S10 S11 S12 N Lead 9! 8 8 2 6 2nd J J QKQ 3rd 5 A! 5AK 4th 6 10 J9A W-LW1W2W3W4L1 K Q J A 7 J — 10 9 6 Q J 10 — — South leads 2 K 8 8 9 8

Lead the 9 (all hands pitch a spade) then the 8. If West throws a spade, throw a heart from North; then lead the 8 to the ace, squeezing East as above. If West instead throws his last diamond, you must throw the A from North! Then the 8 may be the craziest eight of all, completing a jettison vice squeeze.

 Puzzle 7F22   Main Top   Crazy Eights