Quiz 7J34   Main

# Frosty, the Notrump

by Richard Pavlicek

Frosty, the Notrump, was a jolly, happy soul. Brrr! Each of these 3 NT contracts is ice cold.
That is, if you can find the correct play. Are you up to the task?

## Problem 1

 3 NT SouthNone Vul 6 2 6 2 A Q 10 9 2 A K 10 5 WestPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 EastPassPass South1 3 NT Lead: 8 East plays 3 A K Q 5 Q 10 5 4 K 8 7 6 2

 A. Win A; K; A-Q B. Win A; K; finesse 10 C. Win A; K; run 10 D. Win A; K; lead 2 to eight

### Solution

With eight top tricks, you need only to establish one more in diamonds. The danger is that, if you lose a diamond trick, the opponents might be able to set you by cashing four hearts; but this is impossible if you lose the trick to West.

Win the A, cross to dummy with a club, and lead a low diamond to the eight. This insures your contract against any layout, and nets an overtrick as the cards lie. Note that if West could win the J and return a club to remove dummy’s side entry, the diamond suit would still run by leading the ace.

West held: 8-7-4 A-J-9-7 7-6 J-9-8-4

 Quiz 7J34   Main Top   Frosty, the Notrump

## Problem 2

 3 NT SouthNone Vul 5 A 6 5 4 K 7 4 3 K 6 4 3 WestPassPass North3 3 NT EastPassAll Pass SOUTH2 NT3 Lead: Qthen 7 East pitches 2 A K J 4 K 3 2 A J 5 A J 2

 A. Duck; win A; finesse J B. Duck; win A; finesse J C. Duck; win K; K; A D. Duck; win K; K; finesse J

### Solution

Again you have eight top tricks, and any of three finesses will give you nine; plus there’s a chance to set up the fourth club or diamond. Which to try? None of the above. The only surefire play is a throw-in against West.

Duck the first heart (optional), then win the K, K (optional) and A. Exit with dummy’s last heart to let West run his entire suit (you will lose four tricks). Your last six cards will be K-7-4 K-6-4 opposite A-J A-J A-J, and any lead by West gives you a free finesse for your ninth trick.

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

 Quiz 7J34   Main Top   Frosty, the Notrump

## Problem 3

 3 NT SouthNone Vul 9 8 2 K Q A K 10 9 8 4 3 3 WestPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 EastPassPass South2 3 NT Lead: 5 East plays Q A K 10 6 5 4 2 Q A K 8 7 5

 A. Win A; Q; lead 2 B. Win A; K; A (pitch spade) C. Win A; K; A (pitch heart) D. Duck the first trick

### Solution

You have seven top tricks and can establish a heart for eight. If the diamonds run that makes 12. Quit dreaming! Would I really give you a 3-2 diamond break? There’s only one way to ensure nine tricks, and it requires some fancy footwork.

Win the K, then lead the Q and overtake it with the king. Cash the A to pitch your 10, then lead the 10 and pitch your A! Eventually you will reach dummy in hearts. Note that if you didn’t jettison your top spades, a spade return by East would set up West’s suit before you could reach dummy.

West held: J-7-6-5-4 A-9-8-7 2 Q-4-2

 Quiz 7J34   Main Top   Frosty, the Notrump