Main     Puzzles 7HA0 by Richard Pavlicek

# One Trump Loser!

On each of these deals the contract is 6 and West leads the Q. Amazingly, each can be made, losing only one trump trick. Can you perform the magic?

1. 6 by South

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

West appears to have two natural trump tricks, but a little magic will cure that. Win the A-K and ruff a diamond; win the A-K and ruff a heart; win the A-K and ruff the last diamond. This reduces West to all trumps with South on lead.

Lead a club; West ruffs with the 7 and North overruffs with the nine. Finally, lead the last heart and ruff with the K. If West overruffs with the ace, he will be endplayed in trumps; if he underruffs, he is left with A-J in front of the queen.

2. 6 by South

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

Seeing East’s trumps might make you ill, but they can be neutralized. Cash all your side winners and ruff a heart with the 2. East now has all trumps with North on lead.

Lead a minor suit and overruff as cheaply as possible. Say, East ruffs with the jack and you win the ace. Ruff a heart with the K forcing East to underruff. Lead a minor suit to overruff again (if East ruffs with the queen, discard your last heart). Finally, ruff your last heart with the 10 and watch East squirm.

3. 6 by South

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

It looks impossible to stop West from making his J, but that’s an illusion. Harry Houdini would do it this way: Win the A and cash the A-K (ignore the Q) to ditch a diamond; ruff a heart; win the K; ruff a diamond and cash three clubs. This leaves West with all trumps.

Duck a spade to East’s blank ace. On the forced heart return play the 9 and West’s jack is smothered. If he overruffs, you will overruff with the king. If he underruffs, you will discard from dummy.

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