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Delusions of Grandeur


I’m in a generous mood and will offer you three grand as a gift! Slams, that is. Can you win 13 tricks in each contract? If so, you’re a grand player. You may look at all four hands.

1. 7 C by South

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


Answer

It looks like 13 easy tricks, but the diamond suit is blocked. If you unblock the D A-K early, West will get a ruff. If you draw his trumps, dummy will have no entry.

The solution: Discard a diamond from dummy at trick one and win the S A. Lead a low club to dummy; ruff a heart with the C K; lead a low club to dummy; ruff a heart with the C A; then lead your last club. As you draw West’s trumps you can pitch one diamond, then cash the H A to throw your last diamond to leave dummy high.

2. 7 D by South

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


Answer

You have 11 top tricks, and all you need for the rest is a “double transfer repeating triple squeeze” — surely, a piece of cake (ha).

Win the C K and lead a diamond to reach your hand. Lead the S Q, king, ace (transfer no. 1); return to your hand with a diamond and lead the H Q, king, ace (transfer no. 2). Now run the diamonds. When you lead your last diamond, East will be triple squeezed. If he discards, say, his spade stopper, you will lead the now established S 7 to squeeze him again. What fun!

3. 7 S by South

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


Answer

You have 12 top tricks. The contract looks doomed with the H K and D K offside, but a “double ruffout squeeze” saves the day.

Win the H A and lead all but one spade, discarding three diamonds from dummy; then cash the clubs. Dummy now holds H Q-6 and the D A; you have a spade and D 3-2. If East blanks his H K, you can ruff it out; if West blanks his H 10, you can lead the H Q through East. Hence, each opponent must keep two hearts; then cash the D A and your D 3 is a winner!

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek