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Read My Lips!


Vote for me, and I promise you that I will promise anything to keep my campaign afloat. Each of these 6 S contracts can be made with a tricky play. Trust me. I am not a crook.

1. 6 S by South

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


Answer

Twelve tricks look easy until you realize the diamond suit is blocked. If you ruff the opening lead, draw trumps and run diamonds, you can only win four diamond tricks; after cashing A-K-Q you will be left with the 10 opposite dummy’s 6-5 and no way to reach the fifth diamond. With 10-9-8-7 there is no way to unblock in the usual fashion.

The winning play is to discard a diamond at trick one instead of ruffing. Then no matter which suit is led, you will be able to draw trumps and run the entire diamond suit on which you will discard your two small clubs.

2. 6 S by South

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


Answer

You have 11 top tricks, but the foul diamond division makes a 12th trick elusive. If you try to discard three of dummy’s diamonds on top clubs then ruff a diamond in dummy (after losing a diamond), you will fail because West will ruff in front of dummy with his S 9.

The winning play is to establish dummy’s long heart which requires four entries to dummy. To achieve this you must ruff all of your high clubs in dummy! Ruff the opening club lead; heart ruff; club ruff; heart ruff; club ruff; heart ruff; then draw trumps. The H 8 is established and you still have the D A as an entry.

3. 6 S by South

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


Answer

This time you have 13 top tricks but you cannot reach them. The blockage in the clubs prevents you from cashing more than two club tricks. Your first thought might be to discard the C A-K on the two top hearts, but this still gives you only two club tricks.

The winning play is to force West to provide your entry. Win the H K (or optionally you can play the H 2 and ruff with the S 10) but do not cash the H A. Win two top trumps, the C A-K and the D A, then lead the S 2 to give West the nine. He must return a heart or a club, which allows you to discard all of your losing diamonds.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek