Main   Puzzles 7H86 by Richard Pavlicek

Believe It or Not!

Move over, Ripley! Each of these contracts can be defeated with a remarkable defense that would never occur in real life. Can you find the bizarre solutions?

1. 3 NT South

 K 3 2 5 4 3 A K J 10 9 8 7 — 7 6 Q J 10 9 8 4 3 2 K 3 2 Q J 10 9 8 7 6 Q 6 5 A 5 4 A 5 4 A K 2 — Q J 10 9 8 7 6

Answer

To defeat the contract the defense must lead all four suits! West must start a spade, which declarer ducks (else East can establish his spade suit). East must shift to a heart, and again declarer ducks (else West can establish his heart suit). West now must lead a diamond. If declarer wins and tries to set up clubs, West can win the first club and continue diamonds. So assume declarer tries the diamond finesse. East wins and shifts to clubs to take the setting tricks.

2. 6 South

 A 7 6 5 4 J 10 9 K 6 5 4 3 — K J 10 9 8 Q 8 2 8 7 K Q 10 3 2 — Q J 10 9 A J 9 8 7 6 5 Q A K 7 6 5 4 3 A 2 4 3 2

Answer

After any routine lead declarer has nine top tricks and can easily ruff three clubs in dummy to make 12. If West leads a low trump, it limits dummy to just two ruffs; alas, this costs West’s his trump trick so there is no net gain. To defeat the contract West must send a queen to the guillotine. The killing lead is the queen of hearts. If declarer now proceeds to ruff two clubs, it will restore West’s 8 into a natural trick. There is no way for declarer to succeed.

3. 6 South

 Q J 10 K 9 8 Q 10 9 8 A K 3 — 6 5 4 3 2 4 3 2 Q J 10 5 4 4 3 2 A J 10 A K J 7 6 5 2 A K 9 8 7 6 5 Q 7 — 9 8 7 6

Answer

After a normal lead like the Q, North wins and a heart is led to the queen. Play continues: Q; Q covered and ruffed; J; 10 covered, ruffed; 10; 9 covered, ruffed. Next lead a club; West must cover and North wins. Discard your last heart on the 8, then give up a club and claim. There is just one way to stop this. West must lead a diamond and East must duck the first trick. South has to choose his discard prematurely, and the contract cannot be made.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek