Main   Exercise 6J50 by Richard Pavlicek  

Win It? Or Duck It?

“I was going to grab my ace but went for the smooth duck instead.”

As West or East, enter your play to the crucial trick (card rank only).
If you win the trick, enter your next lead (suit and rank); else “N” for lead.

1.
None Vul
S A K 5
H 10 5 4
D K Q J 7 4
C 8 3
West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
2 S
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S 3 2
H K J 3
D A 10 9 5
C Q J 10 2
Table4 S South

You lead the C Q and the play goes three, four, ace. South leads the D 2.

Your play and lead?

2.
N-S Vul
S K Q 7 6
H A 8 5
D 5 4 3
C A 5 4
West

1 S
All Pass
North
1 C
1 NT
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
4 H
S A J 9 8 5
H 2
D J 10 9 2
C K J 3
Table4 H South

You lead the D J and the play goes three, seven, queen. South leads the S 2.

Your play and lead?

3.
E-W Vul
S A 6 5
H Q 10 9 8 5
D A 8 4
C 4 2
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

2 H
3 S
East

Pass
Pass
South
1 S
2 S
4 S
S Q 10 4
H K 3
D K J 9 3
C 10 9 8 3
Table4 S South

You lead the C 10 and the play goes two, seven, ace. South leads the H 2.

Your play and lead?

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4.
Both Vul
S A 7 3
H A J 6 2
D K 5 4 3
C J 10
West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 D
2 H
East
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
4 H
S 8 6 5 2
H 10 3
D Q J 9 7
C A 8 2
Table4 H South

You lead the S 2 and the play goes three, jack, king. South leads the C 3.

Your play and lead?

5.
None Vul
S Q 2
H Q J 9 4
D K 5 4 2
C K 8 2
West

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT SouthTable S 10 7 3
H A 8 2
D J 10 7 3
C 10 5 3

West leads the S 6 and the play goes queen, three, four. Dummy leads the H 4.

Your play and lead?

6.
N-S Vul
S 2
H K J 10 9 4
D 10 5 2
C Q 10 9 7
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

1 NT
3 H
East

Pass
Pass
South
1 S
2 H
4 H
4 H SouthTable S A Q 10 4
H 8 3
D K J 9
C 5 4 3 2

West leads the H 2 and the play goes jack, three, five. Dummy leads the S 2.

Your play and lead?

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7.
E-W Vul
S J 10 9 8
H A 8 5 4
D 3
C 10 7 4 3
West

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
4 S SouthTable S 5
H J 10 9 7
D A 9 6 5 2
C Q 9 6

West leads the S 4 and the play goes eight, five, two. Dummy leads the D 3.

Your play and lead?

8.
Both Vul
S K 5
H 10 8 7
D K 10 9 7
C J 7 5 2
West

Pass
All Pass
North

2 H
East

Pass
South
1 H
4 H
4 H SouthTable S Q 10 3
H 5 4
D Q J 8 6
C A Q 9 4

West leads the S 2 and the play goes king, three, four. Dummy leads the C 2.

Your play and lead?

9.
None Vul
S 10 5
H 10 6 4 2
D A Q J 6
C J 10 7
West

Pass
Pass
North

1 H
3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South
1 D
2 NT
3 NT SouthTable S Q J 9 8 4
H 8 7 3
D K 2
C 6 4 3

West leads the S 7; 10, jack, ace. South leads the D 3 to dummy’s jack.

Your play and lead?

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Study 6J50 by Richard Pavlicek

Win It? Or Duck It?

As West or East, the problem is whether to win or duck, and what to lead next if you win.

1. None Vul4 S SouthS A K 5TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H 10 5 41 WC Q34A
WestNorthEastSouthD K Q J 7 42 SD 2A!43
1 DPass1 SC 8 33 WH 3!4A2
Pass2 SPass4 SS 3 2TableS 6 44 EH 69J5
All PassH K J 3H A 8 7 65 WH K107Q
D A 10 9 5D 8 6 3Win the rest
C Q J 10 2C 9 7 6 4
S Q J 10 9 8 7
H Q 9 2
D 2
Down 1C A K 5

Partner’s C 4 signal marks declarer with the C K, so there is no future in that suit. Ducking the diamond is likely to lose your chance to beat the contract when declarer has a singleton, so hop with the ace and shift to a low heart, hoping partner has the ace.

2. N-S Vul4 H SouthS K Q 7 6TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H A 8 51 WD J37Q
WestNorthEastSouthD 5 4 32 SS 28!K3
1 CPass1 HC A 5 43 NS 64H 35
1 S1 NTPass4 HS A J 9 8 5TableS 10 4 34 SH 42A9
All PassH 2H Q J 95 NH 5JKS J
D J 10 9 2D K 7 66 SD A246
C K J 3C 10 9 8 67 SD 895K
S 28 EH Q6S 98
H K 10 7 6 4 39 EC 10
D A Q 8Lose 2 more tricks
Down 1C Q 7 2

The key here is that if you won the S A you could not cash any fast tricks. Hence, you should take the slow road. Even though you lose your S A, ducking gives declarer only one spade trick (instead of two) and he cannot succeed.

3. E-W Vul4 S SouthS A 6 5TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H Q 10 9 8 51 WC 1027A
WestNorthEastSouthD A 8 42 SH 23!10A
1 SC 4 23 ED 5!QKA
Pass2 HPass2 SS Q 10 4TableS 3Lose 3 more tricks
Pass3 SPass4 SH K 3H A 7 6 4
All PassD K J 9 3D 10 7 6 5
C 10 9 8 3C Q J 7 5
S K J 9 8 7 2
H J 2
D Q 2
Down 1C A K 6

It is almost surely necessary to attack diamonds before declarer can establish dummy’s heart suit, and if South has the D Q, only partner can do this. Hence, you must duck the heart to partner, who will shift to a diamond — down one.

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4. Both Vul4 H SouthS A 7 3TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H A J 6 21 WS 23JK
WestNorthEastSouthD K 5 4 32 SC 3A!107
1 DPass1 HC J 103 WS 57Q4
Pass2 HPass4 HS 8 6 5 2TableS Q J 94 EC K42J
All PassH 10 3H Q 9 4Lose 1 more trick
D Q J 9 7D 10 8 2
C A 8 2C K 7 6 5
S K 10 4
H K 8 7 5
D A 6
Down 1C Q 9 4 3

Partner’s play of the S J marks South with the 10, so partner cannot lead spades safely if he has the queen. Hence, you must rise with the C A and lead another spade before declarer has time to develop a discard in clubs.

5. None Vul3 NT SouthS Q 2TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H Q J 9 41 WS 6Q34
WestNorthEastSouthD K 5 4 22 NH 4A!53
1 NTC K 8 23 ES 109J2
Pass3 NTAll PassS K J 8 6 5TableS 10 7 34 WS 8D 27A
H K 6 3H A 8 25 SH 7K92
D Q 9D J 10 7 3Lose 2 more tricks
C 7 6 4C 10 5 3
S A 9 4
H 10 7 5
D A 8 6
Down 1C A Q J 9

Partner presumably has long spades, so you must make an effort to preserve his entry. Therefore, grab the lead immediately to return his suit (the 10 is the proper card). Declarer now must fail, but note how easy 3 NT would be if you ducked the heart.

6. N-S Vul4 H SouthS 2TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H K J 10 9 41 WH 2J35
WestNorthEastSouthD 10 5 22 NS 2A!63
1 SC Q 10 9 73 ED J!QA2
Pass1 NTPass2 HS 8 5 3TableS A Q 10 44 WD 610K3
Pass3 HPass4 HH 7 2H 8 35 ED 9475
All PassD A 8 7 6D K J 9Win the rest
C K J 8 6C 5 4 3 2
S K J 9 7 6
H A Q 6 5
D Q 4 3
Down 1C A

Ducking the spade could almost never gain (declarer could not misguess when you have both A-Q), and it might give up your only chance to win four tricks. Note the proper shift to the D J to trap South’s queen, and the contract is set.

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7. E-W Vul4 S SouthS J 10 9 8TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H A 8 5 41 WS 4852
WestNorthEastSouthD 32 ND 32!JK
1 SC 10 7 4 33 WS 39D 5A
Pass2 SPass4 SS 6 4 3TableS 54 SD 47S 106
All PassH Q 6 2H J 10 9 75 NH 4JK2
D K 10 7D A 9 6 5 2Lose 3 more tricks
C A J 8 5C Q 9 6
S A K Q 7 2
H K 3
D Q J 8 4
Down 1C K 2

You have a lot to gain by ducking — partner might have the king (as here), declarer might misguess (e.g., if he held K-J), and even if South won the trick you would surely be compensated by gaining another trick later. If you won the ace, disaster!

8. Both Vul4 H SouthS K 5TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H 10 8 71 WS 2K34
WestNorthEastSouthD K 10 9 72 NC 2A!K6
1 HC J 7 5 23 EH 4!2?K7
Pass2 HPass4 HS J 9 7 2TableS Q 10 34 WH 31059
All PassH K 6 3H 5 45 NC 54H J3
D 5 4D Q J 8 66 SS A7510
C 10 8 6 3C A Q 9 47 SS 69H 8Q
S A 8 6 48 NC 79H Q8
H A Q J 9 2Lose 2 more tricks
D A 3 2
Down 1C K

South is marked with four spades (from partner’s S 2 lead), so he is likely to be short in clubs. Don’t give him the pleasure of stealing a stiff king! After taking the C A, a trump return stands out to try to reduce spade ruffs in dummy.

9. None Vul3 NT SouthS 10 5TrickLead2nd3rd4th
H 10 6 4 21 WS 710JA
WestNorthEastSouthD A Q J 62 SD 37J2!
1 DC J 10 73 NC J35K
Pass1 HPass2 NTS 7 6 2TableS Q J 9 8 44 WS 6583
Pass3 NTAll PassH K J 9H 8 7 35 ES 9K2H 2
D 10 8 7D K 26 SD 48QK
C K 9 8 2C 6 4 3Lose 2 more tricks
S A K 3
H A Q 5
D 9 5 4 3
Down 1C A Q 5

The D K is the only entry to your long spade suit (partner’s lead is top of nothing) so duck, and do it smoothly. Unless declarer is playing with mirrors, he will next try a heart or club finesse (losing) and repeat the diamond finesse later. Surprise!

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© 1994 Richard Pavlicek