Quiz 7J58   Main

# If It Walks Like a Duck…

by Richard Pavlicek

…And it quacks like a duck, you got a duck — at least you do on each of these problems.
The catch is deciding which suit and when. How do you play each contract?

## Problem 1

 3 NT SouthNone Vul A Q 6 5 4 7 5 8 5 4 A 7 2 WestPassPass North2 13 NT EastPassAll Pass SOUTH1 NT2 Lead: 4 East plays J 3 2 A K 6 2 A K 2 K 5 4 3 1. Jacoby transfer

 A. Win K; finesse Q; duck a spade B. Win K; duck a spade C. Win K; duck a club D. Duck the first trick

### Solution

It might appear that you should duck the first trick, but that would be an error. The opponents might shift to a club (and lead another club later) to knock out dummy’s A entry before you can establish the spade suit.

Win the K and duck a spade. The first-round duck is crucial to establish the long spade in the likely event they break 4-2. Whatever the return, win in hand and finesse the Q (or win the ace if the king pops up) and continue spades.

West held: K-8 Q-10-8-4 J-9-7 Q-10-8-6

 Quiz 7J58   Main Top   If It Walks Like a Duck…

## Problem 2

 4 SouthNone Vul 4 3 Q 10 3 2 A 7 5 4 2 4 3 WestPassPass North1 NT4 EastPassAll Pass SOUTH1 3 Lead: 9 East plays 7 A K 6 5 2 K J 9 8 6 3 A K Why is West leading your suit?

 A. Win A; duck a spade B. Win A; lead 9 C. Win A; duck a diamond D. Duck the first trick

### Solution

West’s lead of your first bid suit is surely a singleton, so the danger is obvious: If you cash the top spades, West will ruff; then the opponents can lead two rounds of trumps, leaving you a trick short.

It doesn’t help to draw trumps. After winning the A, you should duck a spade. Then you can ruff your low spades (with the Q-10 if necessary) and eventually draw trumps to win the K, or crossruff, depending on the defense.

West held: 9 A-7-5 K-J-10-8 J-9-7-6-5

 Quiz 7J58   Main Top   If It Walks Like a Duck…

## Problem 3

 4 SouthNone Vul Q 3 A 3 A K 6 5 3 8 5 3 2 WestPassPass North2 NT4 EastPassAll Pass SOUTH2 3 Lead: Q East plays 7 K J 10 9 8 7 9 6 2 8 2 A 4 If you have no clue, save some timeand get the duck out of here!

 A. Win A; duck a heart B. Win A; A-K; ruff ; duck a heart C. Win A; duck a diamond D. Duck the first trick

### Solution

Your 10th trick might come from (1) a heart ruff or (2) establishing the diamond suit. The opponents can prevent (1) by leading trumps, or (2) by attacking dummy’s A entry — but with proper technique, they can’t stop both.

Win the A, cash the A-K, and ruff a diamond (assume they break 4-2). Next duck a heart. If they drive out the A, you can ruff your heart; if they clear trumps, you can establish the long diamond with the A entry. Neat.

West held: 5-4 K-8-7-5 Q-10-9-4 Q-J-10

 Quiz 7J58   Main Top   If It Walks Like a Duck…