Puzzle 7E93 Main

# Up For Promotion

by Richard Pavlicek

Your 4 contract would usually be easy, but not this time. West begins with the A then a diamond to East’s queen. You have three obvious tricks to lose, and West is threatening to get a trump promotion as well.

 West deals A 2 West North East South N-S vul 3 1 Pass 1 4 J 10 9 8 Dbl Pass Pass Pass J 10 9 8 7 6 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 K 9 8 7 2 A 3 K Q 7 6 5 4 A Q 5 K 4 3 K Q J 10 A Q J 10 6 5 4 Lead: A 2 4 × South 2

Assuming you ruff the second diamond lead, routine play will not suffice. As soon as West gets the lead with the K, he will lead a low club to East’s K. Then a third round of diamonds will promote West’s 9 into the setting trick.

Can you make West pay for his double?

Make 4 after ace and another diamond lead.

## Solution

The trump promotion is in fact inevitable, but there is something you can do about the losing club.

 4 × South A 2 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th 3 1. W A 8 4 2 J 10 9 8 2. W 3 9 Q 4 J 10 9 8 7 6 3. S 10 6 A 3 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 4. N 10 K A! 5 K 9 8 7 2 continued below… A 3 K Q 7 6 5 4 A Q 5 K 4 3 K Q J 10 A Q J 10 6 5 4 2 2

Cross to the A in dummy and lead a diamond, which East must cover (else you could just throw your losing club while West ruffs). Now comes the spectacular play: Ruff with the ace! Beat that! Assume West discards a club to leave the position below:

 win 7 2 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th 3 5. S K 7 2 4 J 6. S Q 8 6 5 J 10 9 8 7 6 7. S J 9 3 5 9 8 7 5 4 8. N J 6 2 7 K 9 8 7 2 Win 4 more tricks — 7 6 5 A Q K 4 3 K Q J Q J 10 6 5 — South leads 2

Cash two more spades then ruff your last spade with the 3 as East is helpless holding only the lowly deuce. Now lead the good diamond and discard your club as West ruffs. It is a simple matter then to force out West’s K and draw the rest of this trumps.

Variation: If West had thrown a spade as you ruffed with the A, you would ruff the third round of spades in dummy, etc.

West may think twice before he doubles you again.

 Puzzle 7E93 Main Top Up For Promotion

© 1983 Richard Pavlicek