Puzzle 7F47   Main

# Diamond Dilemma

by Richard Pavlicek

Coping with preempts can be difficult, and you have your work cut out on this one. After East opens 3 , you double for takeout, West raises to game, and partner bids 4 NT. This is not Blackwood but asks you to choose a minor, and you happily oblige with 5 .

 5 SouthNone Vul A 5 4 10 A 9 7 6 2 6 5 4 3 West4 Pass North4 NTPass EAST3 PassPass SouthDbl5 Q J 10 9 8 A J 2 K J 10 9 8 7 6 K 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 5 4 7 Lead: Q K 3 2 Q Q J 10 8 3 A K Q 2

You have 10 easy tricks with the favorable trump lie, but the mirror distribution leaves no obvious way to develop an 11th. With West protecting both black suits, a squeeze may be in the offing; but how can you rectify the count without giving up one of your threats? Any ideas?

Make 5 against any defense.

## Solution

Your first thoughts might be to draw trumps and exit with a heart, but this won’t work because West can win and exit safely, no matter how many black winners you cash early. If only you could arrange a throw-in against East.

Therein lies the solution, but it requires a devious scheme.

 5 South A 5 4 10 A 9 7 6 2 6 5 4 3 Trick1 W2 N3 W4 S5 N Lead Q 10 J Q 3 2ndA34K7 3rd6Q7AA 4th2AK48 W-LW1L1W2W3W4 Q J 10 9 8 A J 2 K J 10 9 8 7 6 K 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 5 4 7 Lead: Q K 3 2 Q Q J 10 8 3 A K Q 2

Win the A (or the king) and give up a heart. Assume a spade return (no defense matters) to the king, then lead the Q; king, ace. Do not draw the outstanding trump. Return to hand with the A to reach this position:

 win 7Success 5 — 9 7 6 2 6 5 4 Trick6 S7 S8 E9 S10 S11 N Lead K 3 K J 8 7 2nd9 8 10 9 2 7 3rd42!J69 3 4th 4!5 5 5 6? W-LW1L1W2W3W4 10 9 8 J 2 — J 10 9 — K 9 8 7 6 5 4 5 — South leads 3 — J 10 8 3 K Q 2 West is squeezed

Next cash the K, which East smartly refuses to ruff; else he must concede a ruff-sluff, resulting in West being squeezed. Well, if East want’s to play that way, you must make him an offer he can’t refuse. Lead the 3, and when West shows out, duck in dummy to force East to win the 5. Ruff the heart return with the 10, throwing a club from dummy. Win the J, overtake the 8 with the nine, then lead dummy’s last diamond, throwing your spade. West is squeezed in the black suits.

The forced ruff-sluff from East only broke even for the trick you gave away in diamonds, but it rectified the count for a squeeze without wasting a black-suit threat.

 Puzzle 7F47   Main Top   Diamond Dilemma