Quiz 7H26   Main

# Four Spades For Sure

by Richard Pavlicek

As South, assume you are declarer in 4 on each deal.
Can you find the surefire play to guarantee making your contract?

## Problem 1

 4 SouthNone Vul A K 9 5 K 6 4 A Q 9 K 9 2 WestPass NORTH1 4 EastPassAll Pass South1 Lead: Q East plays 3 Q J 10 8 7 6 5 3 2 4 3 A 4

 A. Win A; A-K-Q; 2 to king B. Win A; A-K-Q; 3 to queen C. Win A; A-K-Q; 3 to nine D. Win A; A-K-Q; 4 to king

### Solution

You have 9 top tricks, and there is only one way to be sure of 10. Win the A and draw the missing trumps (three rounds if necessary). Lead a club to the king and ruff the last club in your hand.

Next lead a diamond and finesse the nine (unless West plays the 10 or jack, then finesse the queen). When East wins this trick he will be endplayed: A heart lead allows you to win the K; a diamond lead gives you a free finesse; or a club lead allows you to discard a heart and ruff in dummy.

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## Problem 2

 4 SouthNone Vul A 3 2 — 9 8 6 5 4 A K J 10 4 WestPassPassAll Pass North2 3 EastPassPass SOUTH1 2 4 Lead: 9 East plays 6 K Q J 10 4 A 8 5 4 3 2 3 2

 A. Win 10; ruff heart high B. Win 10; ruff heart low C. Win 10; lead 2 D. Win 10; finesse J

### Solution

A number of plays might succeed in practice, but there is only one surefire technique. Win the spade lead in hand and immediately ruff a heart with the A (do not cash the A). Lead dummy’s last spade to your hand and draw all the enemy trumps.

Next lead a club and finesse the jack. If this loses you will have 10 guaranteed tricks: five spades, the A, a heart ruff, and three clubs. Note: If the club finesse works, do not repeat it (a clever East player might duck with the queen).

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## Problem 3

 4 SouthBoth Vul K 10 8 7 4 A Q J 2 5 4 3 K WestPass NorthPass EastPass SOUTH4 Lead: A A Q J 9 6 5 3 2 6 4 K 7 2 —

 A. Ruff; finesse Q B. Ruff; win K; 3 to king C. Pitch a heart D. Pitch a diamond

### Solution

Did you notice you have all 13 trumps? Even so, you are in danger of going down if the heart finesse loses and a diamond is returned through your king.

The lifetime guarantee: Discard a heart at trick one. West’s only safe return is a heart, but now you can hop up with dummy’s ace and lead the Q for a ruffing finesse (if East does not produce the king, discard a diamond). Even if West wins the K, your K cannot be led through and dummy’s J will be established for a discard.

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© 1994 Richard Pavlicek