Puzzle 7F16 Main

# A Ruff and a Sluff

by Richard Pavlicek

You are playing a contract of 6 and the opponents are kind enough to lead a club to give you a ruff and sluff. How do you make your slam contract? Careful, it’s tricky!

 South deals 5 4 3 2 West North East South None vul K Q J 10 9 1 J 10 9 8 2 2 5 5 — Pass 6 Pass Pass 6 7 Pass 3 2 A 8 7 K 7 6 5 Q 2 K Q J 10 9 8 A 7 6 5 4 3 2 A K Q J 10 9 8 6 5 4 Lead: K A 4 3 6 South —

Assume you ruff the first trick in dummy and discard a diamond. After drawing trumps you will lead hearts, but East will duck the first two rounds; then you will have no entry to dummy and must lose a heart and a diamond. What about discarding a heart from your hand at trick one? Or maybe you should ruff in your hand and discard from dummy? Try to figure it out yourself before reading further.

 Puzzle 7F16 Main Top A Ruff and a Sluff

## Solution

The only solution is to ruff the opening lead in both hands. Draw the enemy trumps, then lead hearts twice as East is forced to duck to shut out dummy.

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

This is what remains:

 win 8 5 4 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th J 10 9 5. N J ? J 10 9 8 Declarer succeeds — — — — A K 7 6 5 Q 2 Q J 10 9 8 A 7 6 5 4 3 K Q J 10 9 6 A 4 3 North leads —

Next lead the J, and it makes no difference if East covers or if West holds up his king. You will continue to lead diamonds and eventually discard your remaining heart on dummy’s fourth diamond — else get a useful ruff-sluff if West leads another club.

Touche!

 Puzzle 7F16 Main Top A Ruff and a Sluff

© 1989 Richard Pavlicek