Quiz 7H35   Main

Slams with Endplays

by Richard Pavlicek

As South, you are declarer in 6 on each deal. Can you find the winning play?
In each case assume the missing trumps divide 2-1.

Problem 1

 6 SouthNone Vul 8 7 6 4 A 5 A 8 3 2 A 7 3 WestPassPassPassAll Pass North3 4 5 EastPassPassPass SOUTH1 4 4 NT6 Lead: Q A K Q J 10 9 9 6 K Q 9 4 2 You win A, ruff 3 and draw trumps.What next?

 A. Win A; ruff 7; win K B. Win A; ruff 7; lead 9 C. Win A; ruff 7 D. Win K; A; ruff 7

Solution

The only problem on this deal is a bad diamond break, and a neat endplay will ensure your success. Win the A and ruff a club; draw the enemy trumps; cross to dummy with a heart (not a diamond!), and ruff the last club.

The key play now is to cash one top diamond in your hand, then exit with a heart. Whoever wins must lead a diamond (else give you a ruff and discard), and you simply play second hand low to guarantee picking up the diamonds. No lie of the cards can defeat you.

 Quiz 7H35   Main Top   Slams with Endplays

Problem 2

 6 SouthNone Vul K J 10 A K 10 9 A 4 A Q 7 5 WestPassAll Pass NORTH2 NT4 NT EastPassPass South4 6 Lead: 8 A Q 9 7 6 5 4 4 3 2 6 4 3 You win A, K and A.What next?

 A. Win K; ruff 10 B. Win A; ruff 4; finesse 9 C. Win A; ruff 4; finesse Q D. Win A; ruff 4; duck club

Solution

The problem here is not to rely on the club finesse, and again you can ensure your contract with the proper technique. Win the K and draw trumps in two rounds. Next cash the A and ruff a diamond to eliminate that suit.

West’s opening lead places East with the Q-J. You are now ready for an endplay: Lead a heart and finesse the nine which East must win — and you can claim! Whether East returns a heart, a diamond or a club, this will give you an extra trick and the contract.

 Quiz 7H35   Main Top   Slams with Endplays

Problem 3

 6 SouthNone Vul Q 10 8 6 4 A 10 7 4 K 3 A Q WestPassPassPass North2 4 6 EastPassPassAll Pass SOUTH1 NT2 4 Lead: J East plays 6 A J 9 7 5 K 9 3 A 7 K J 6 East plays 2 on first spade lead.

 A. Win A; cash A B. Win A; A; K-J C. Win K; run Q D. Win K; Q to ace

Solution

Normally, with 10 cards missing the king, the proper play is to take the finesse. In this case, however, you should refuse the 50-percent finesse in favor of an endplay that offers a greater chance. Win the K and lead the Q (in case East covers) but win the ace regardless.

Assuming the K does not drop, cash the A and win all the clubs (overtaking the Q) before exiting with a trump. Whoever wins must lead a heart — then you will make your contract whenever the Q-J are in different hands.

 Quiz 7H35   Main Top   Slams with Endplays