Main     Puzzle 7E93 by Richard Pavlicek    

Up For Promotion

Your 4 H contract would usually be easy, but not this time. West begins with the D 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.

4 H× by South

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

West
1 C
Dbl
North
Pass
All Pass
East
1 D
South
4 H

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

Can you make West pay for his double? Make 4 H.

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Solution

The trump promotion, in fact, is inevitable. But there is something you can do about that losing club. Cross to the S A in dummy and lead a diamond, which East must cover (else you could just throw your losing club as West ruffs). Now comes the spectacular play: Up for promotion! Ruff with the ace of hearts! Assume West discards a club to leave the ending in the diagram.

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

Cash two more spades then ruff your last spade with the H 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 H K and draw the rest of this trumps.

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

West may think twice before he doubles you again.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek