Main     Puzzle 7F65 by Richard Pavlicek    

Five-Level Hindsight

After a forcing 1 NT response, you were strong enough to bid 4 S, but the off chance of slam dictated a more scientific approach. Partner’s jump raise then encouraged an exchange of control bids at the five level — only to pull up lame in 5 S. Good thing! Slam is impossible, and even five would require hindsight in actual play.

Problem
5 S S 4 3 2
H A J 4 3 2
D J 9 2
C A 10
None Vul

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass


North

1 NT
4 S
5 H


East

Pass
Pass
Pass


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

Having 10 cold tricks, you would normally try for a club ruff, but you can forget about that in view of the unfriendly layout. Look deeper. Perhaps a little insight will preclude the need for hindsight.

How can 11 tricks be made?

TopMain

Solution

Your first thought might be to “transfer the ruff” (pitch diamonds on the third and fourth club). No, East will just copy your discards and be poised to overruff diamonds as well.

There is no way to establish the long heart (too few entries) so your interest turns to diamonds. Perhaps you can develop an endplay against East. That’s it! Unfortunately, a successful position is hard to reach — indeed, impossible if you miss the key plays at Trick 1.

On the heart lead you must cover with the jack and discard a club from hand. Covering prevents an early diamond shift by West, and the discard is crucial to adjust the timing. Assume East shifts to the C Q (best) which you must win in hand and lead five rounds of trumps.

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

East does best to discard a club to reach the ending shown. Do not lead your last trump! Cross to the C A, which squeezes East out of a heart (else you can set up a diamond); cash the H A to pitch your remaining club, and ruff a heart with your last trump. Finally, lead a low diamond and cover West’s play to endplay East. South
leads
S
H A 4
D J 9 2
C A
S
H Q 9
D 10 7
C J 9
Table S
H 7 6 5
D K Q 8
C
S 5
H
D A 4 3
C 8 7

That’s exactly how I would have played it at the table. Not!

TopMain

© 1999 Richard Pavlicek