Quiz 7H78   Main

Sparkling In Diamonds

by Richard Pavlicek

Can you make these contracts on a squeeze play?

Problem 1

 5 SouthE-W Vul 2 9 4 3 K Q J 10 3 A 5 4 3 West1 Pass North3 5 East3 All Pass SOUTH1 Pass Lead: Kthen Q East plays 10then 8 9 8 3 A 2 A 9 8 7 6 K 10 2

 A. Win A; draw trumps; 3 to 10 B. Win A; ruff with K; 3 to nine C. Win A; lead 2 D. Duck the Q

Solution

You have 8 top tricks and can ruff two spades in dummy for 10. The 11th must come from a miracle in clubs or a club-heart squeeze. The key play is to duck the Q, which rectifies the count. Assume West continues with the J.

East held: Q-10-6 K-10-8-7-6-5 2 Q-J-9

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Problem 2

 6 SouthN-S Vul K 6 5 9 6 5 4 3 K 6 5 4 3 WestDblPassPassPassAll Pass NorthPass2 3 5 EastPassPassPassPass SOUTH2 2 2 4 6 Lead: K East plays 7 A Q 4 3 A A Q J 10 9 8 A 2 Trumps split 4-2

 A. Win A; A-Q-J-10; lead 2 B. Win A; A; K; ruff C. Win A; lead 2 D. Duck the first trick

Solution

You have 11 top tricks and the 12th must come from a 3-3 spade break or a squeeze. The best chance for a squeeze is if one opponent (West given the auction) is at least 4-4 in the black suits. Win the A and return a club (cashing the A first is also OK). Assume East wins the club and returns a spade (best).

Win the A in hand; cross to the K and ruff a club. This is the key play to isolate your club threat so only one player can stop it. Next lead all your trumps and the A, and West will be squeezed.

West held: J-8-7-2 J-8-2 5-2 K-Q-10-8

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Problem 3

 7 SouthNone Vul A 5 4 3 A 9 4 J 10 9 8 A K WestPassPassPass NORTH1 NT2 3 7 EastPassPassPassAll Pass South2 3 5 NT Lead: J Trumps split 3-2 K K 10 8 3 2 A K Q 7 J 6 5 A definite overbid, but six would be too easy!

 A. Win K; A-K-Q; A B. Win K; A-K; J; ruff C. Win K; A; J; ruff D. Win K; A-K; A

Solution

You have 10 top tricks and can ruff two spades in your hand to get 12. Your 13th trick might come from a lucky heart layout, the Q falling, or a heart-club squeeze. You must time the play carefully.

Win the K, cash the A and lead your low diamond to dummy; ruff a spade (there is no need to risk cashing A); cross to the A; ruff a spade; then cross to the K. Cash dummy’s last two trumps and the A, discarding hearts from your hand. West will be squeezed.

West held: J-10-9-6 Q-7-5 5-2 Q-9-8-2

 Quiz 7H78   Main Top   Sparkling In Diamonds