Main     Puzzle 7F45 by Richard Pavlicek    

Valuable Discard

You won’t win any glamor awards for this auction. Many players would consider 4 S forcing, but partner is not one of them. Perhaps you should feel honored that he preferred you at the helm in a Moysian fit over himself in a nine-card diamond fit. Now all you have to do is justify that faith.

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

West

Pass
Pass
All Pass


North

2 D
4 D


East

Pass
Pass


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

West’s lead is quite unusual but certainly better than a club. In real life this might have caught you off guard, ducking routinely in dummy, but not with all hands in view.

The rest is up to you. Make 4 S.

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Solution

You had better grab the H K at trick one, but then what? To succeed you must violate two basic principles of card play: On the H K you must discard a winner — a diamond honor, hence the puzzle title — and you must use dummy’s precious entry to take a losing club finesse instead of a winning spade finesse.

Assume West takes your C Q with the king (optionally you could finesse the 10, or win the C A and lead the queen or 10) and returns a heart (best) which you ruff. Next cash a diamond (optional) and the C A, then lead the C 10 to blot out East’s nine. Assume West covers (else pitch a heart) and you ruff in dummy.

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

Could this be the time (see ending) to take the spade finesse? No! You must lead a diamond, which East ruffs and returns a heart, which you ruff. Next lead the good C 6 to pitch dummy’s last heart, and East ruffs (if not lead a diamond next). If East leads another heart, you can ruff in dummy and finally finesse spades and claim. West
leads
S 6 5
H 4 3
D 5 4 3
C
S J 10
H A 9
D 9 8
C 5
Table S K 9 8 7
H Q J 10
D
C
S A Q 3
H
D K Q J
C 6

Trap: If a diamond is led before you lose a club trick, West can return a diamond for East to pitch a club, then you cannot reach dummy and must lose three trump tricks. This same tactic allows the defense to defeat 4 S with an original diamond lead.

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© 1997 Richard Pavlicek