Main     Puzzle 7F21 by Richard Pavlicek    

The Declarer Reversal

North’s jump to 4 H is a Texas transfer to 4 S, a relatively easy contract that fate destines not to be played. East doubles 4 H to show a heart suit, and West takes the moronic sacrifice in 5 H. Clearly this should have been doubled, but then I would have no puzzle. Assume North pushes onward to 5 S, no doubt relieved that he won’t have to play it.

Problem
5 S S A 9 7 5 3 2
H 2
D 6 5 4 3
C A 10
N-S Vul

West

Pass
5 H


North

4 H
5 S


East

Dbl
All Pass


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

The lead is friendly enough, as you capture the H K with your ace, but you still have the unenviable task to win 11 tricks. Can you find the way with all hands in view?

Warning: It’s tricky!

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Solution

With 10 routine tricks, the most obvious hope for 11 is to develop an endplay against East based on the tenace in hearts. If you pursued this angle, you would be frustrated by communication problems and the complications of West’s trump holding. Alas, it can’t be done.

The solution involves a spectacular jettison play followed by a dummy reversal. No, wait! Perhaps this should be called a declarer reversal, since the hand is already being played from the short side because of the transfer bid.

The key play is to discard the C A on the H Q. Then ruff a heart and return to your hand with the C K. (Optionally, you could ruff the heart at trick two, return to the C K, and then jettison the C A.) Next ruff a club, return to hand with a trump, and ruff another club. West cannot gain by ruffing in front of dummy, so assume he discards each time.

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

This leaves the ending at right. Next duck a diamond to East’s blank king, and the forced club or heart return lets you make all of your trumps separately. In all, declarer wins two hearts, one diamond, one club, two high trumps in hand and five ruffs in dummy. The defense is helpless to prevent it. North
leads
S A 9
H
D 6 5 4 3
C
S 10 8 6
H
D Q J 9
C
Table S
H J 9 8
D K
C Q 9
S J
H
D A 10 2
C 6 5

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© 1994 Richard Pavlicek