Main   Movie 3F33 by Richard Pavlicek  

Diamonds In the Ruff

You are playing in a national Swiss team event and have a 6-1 record going into the final round. Your opponents boast an identical record, so a win here would cinch the event. Your nerves begin to tremble as you pick up this hand as South:

N-S Vul

S 2
H A 3 2
D K Q 10 9 8
C K Q 4 3

What is your opening bid? _____

That was easy. Partner responds 1 S and your opponents will pass throughout. What is your rebid? _____

This shows five-four shape in the suits you bid. It would be wrong to rebid 1 NT with a singleton spade. Partner surprises you next with a jump to 3 D. Now what? _____

Your hand is undesirable to bid notrump, and slam is a possibility. This shows the ace since there is no reason to bid a real heart suit on this auction. If you held a heart stopper such as K-J-x, you would bid 3 NT. Showing the ace allows partner to bid 3 NT if desirable, but he continues with 4 C. What next? _____

Partner’s hand must also be undesirable for notrump. He is showing the C A, and slam is imminent so take control with Blackwood. Partner answers 5 H. Now what? _____

Of course. Partner passes. Make this slam and you win the event! TopMain

West leads the H Q, and partner has about what you expected. This is what you see:

6 D South

S Q 10 9 4 3
H 7
D A J 7 6
C A 8 2
Lead: H QTable
S 2
H A 3 2
D K Q 10 9 8
C K Q 4 3

How many top tricks? _____

If you ruff two hearts in dummy, how many tricks would it gain? _____

If instead you ruff three spades in your hand, how many tricks would it gain? _____

Which of the above plans (ruffing spades or hearts) is better? _____

The reason is because the fifth spade will be good with a 4-3 split, then you won’t depend on a 3-3 club break. After winning the H A, what do you lead first? _____

For sure! You must start this suit while dummy has plenty of entries. West plays low, North the 10 and East wins the jack. East returns a trump, you play the 10 and West follows. In which hand do you win this trick? _____

Definitely! All your trump spots are equal so this is a free choice (assume you won the jack). What do you lead now? _____

Both opponents follow and you ruff. You next lead the D K and West sheds a heart. Which diamond do you play from dummy? _____

Flashy! Of course, you could have led any diamond as long as you won it in dummy. This is what’s left:

6 D South

S Q 9 4
D 7 6
C A 8 2
North leadsTable
H 3 2
D Q 9
C K Q 4 3

Which card do you lead? _____

Both opponents follow (the S K drops) and you ruff. What do you lead next? _____

It is better to take this slight risk now (before East is able to discard a club) and you win the ace. What do you lead now? _____

What else! You ruff and the S A falls. What next? _____

You ruff this in dummy. Careful now! What do you lead? _____

Well done! This draws East’s last trump, and you cash the good S Q to ensure your slam.

The E-W hands:

S A 7 6 5
H Q J 10 8
D 2
C 10 9 7 5
TableS K J 8
H K 9 6 5 4
D 5 4 3
C J 6


Bidding:1 D
2 C
3 H
4 NT
6 D
S 2
S 3
Play:S 4
C 3
S 9
H 2
D 7

© 2013 Richard Pavlicek