Can you cope with a Hawaiian trump break as in the old TV series Hawaii Five-O?On each problem West shows out on the first trump lead. Decide your play.
You win the K and K to discoverEast has J-9-8-7-2. Now what?
After winning the K to find out East has J-9-8-7-2, you seem to be fated to lose two trumps and two diamonds; but maybe not. The key is to stop leading trumps and catch East in an endplay.
Cash all your side winners, then exit with a diamond. Suppose West wins two diamonds; then whatever he leads next, pitch a diamond from dummy and let East win the trick underruff in your hand. Now you can claim the rest, as East must lead a trump around to the Q-10.
East held: 10-7-5 J-9-8-7-2 J-10 Q-10-2
You win the A and K to discoverEast has 8-6-5-4-3. Now what?
After winning the A, the K reveals your misery. You need East to have three diamonds, so cash the Q and A-K to pitch a heart from dummy. It is tempting now to pitch the last heart on the J and let East ruff. No! East will return a trump and you will go down.
You actually have a lock. Ruff the good diamond and lead a heart. If East gets in to return a trump (best), win the ace then ruff your last heart. The remaining 9-7 must take two more tricks behind Easts 8.
East held: 8-6-5-4-3 J-7 9-6-5 K-Q-8
You ruff the A with the Q and cashthe A (West shows out). What next?
Hopefully, you were careful to ruff the second club with the Q (or higher); then the A exposes that nasty SOB (East) with all your trumps again. Grr!
To have any chance, you must be able to cash two spades; but you need only one diamond trick. Proper technique is to win the A, A (important) and K. When spades break 3-2, you are home. Just lead good spades until East ruffs, then overruff with the K and lead your low trump to dummy.
East held: 10-3 7-6-4-3-2 8 Q-J-9-8-5
© 2003 Richard Pavlicek