Main     Puzzle 7F16 by Richard Pavlicek    

A Ruff and a Sluff

You are playing a contract of 6 S 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!

6 S by South

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

West

2 C
Pass
North

2 S
6 S
East

5 C
All Pass
South
1 S
5 S

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.

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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. This is what remains:

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

Next lead the D 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. Touche!

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© 1976 Richard Pavlicek