Main     Puzzle 7F13 by Richard Pavlicek    

Slam in the Twilight Zone

The late Rod Serling would have an appeal for this deal, as the winning play and defense are definitely out of the Twilight Zone. So might also be the bidding, as you save the opponents from a huge penalty on their deathly misfit. Did you really want to play 6 C that bad? Well, there you are, as East expresses his opinion with a final double.

Problem
6 C× S Q 4 3 2
H K 10 5 4 3 2
D 4 3 2
C
None Vul

West
1 H
5 D
Pass


North
Pass
Dbl
Pass


East
1 S
5 S
Dbl


South
5 C
6 C
All Pass
S
H A Q J 9 8 7 6
D K J 10 9 8 7
C
Table S J 10 9 8 7 6 5
H
D
C 8 7 6 5 4 3
Lead: H A S A K
H
D A Q 6 5
C A K Q J 10 9 2

After the friendly lead, can 6 C be made?

Decide whether you would rather play or defend.

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Solution

On the H A assume East pitches a spade and you ruff. Six rounds of trumps will pick up East’s half dozen, then you can cash S A-K and exit with a low diamond to endplay West. Nice try, but West will keep four diamonds and just stuff you back in your hand — down one. If only you could get to dummy.

Aha! Maybe East can be your stepping-stone. Instead of ruffing low, ruff the H A high, then cash five top trumps and S A-K.

Solution
6 C× S Q 4 3 2
H K 10 5 4 3 2
D 4 3 2
C
Trick
1. W
2. S
3. S
4. S
5. S
6. S
7. S
8. S
W 8 L 0
Lead
H A
C A
C K
C 10
C J
C Q
S K
S A
2nd
2
H 6
D 7
H 7
D 8
H 8
H 9
D 9
3rd
S 5
H 3
H 4
H 5
D 2
D 3
2
3
4th
C 9
3
4
5
6
7
6
7
S
H A Q J 9 8 7 6
D K J 10 9 8 7
C
Table S J 10 9 8 7 6 5
H
D
C 8 7 6 5 4 3
S A K
H
D A Q 6 5
C A K Q J 10 9 2

From the ending exit with the C 2, pitching a spade from dummy. East must feed dummy the S Q, and West is squeezed on the same trick. A heart pitch makes the 10 good; else the D A will drop the king. That should teach East a lesson about doubling you. South
leads
S Q 4
H K 10
D 4
C
S
H Q J
D K J 10
C
Table S J 10 9 8
H
D
C 8
S
H
D A Q 6 5
C 2

So 6 C can be made with the H A lead. No! And here is the truly bizarre: East must ruff his partner’s ace at Trick 1. South can overruff of course, but he cannot execute the squeeze. If East is thrown in with the C 2, South will have an extra trump, which cannot be cashed, so the pressure against West is relaxed. Try it.

Is there a moral here? Good grief, I hope not.

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© 1994 Richard Pavlicek