Main     Puzzle 7F35 by Richard Pavlicek    

The Tell-Tale Double

Can you take advantage of West’s ill-judged double to make this slam? Assume the defense is perfect (unlike the bidding).

6 NT× by South

None Vul
S K J 3
H 3 2
D A K
C A Q J 10 9 8
S A 10 8 7
H K 9 8
D 10 9 8
C K 6 5
TableS 6 5 4
H 7 6 5 4
D 7 6 5 4
C 7 2
Lead: D 10S Q 9 2
H A Q J 10
D Q J 3 2
C 4 3

West

Pass
Pass
Dbl
North
1 C
2 S
3 NT
All Pass
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 H
2 NT
6 NT

TopMain

Solution

Declarer’s problem is to get to his hand twice to repeat the club finesse. Note that if a high spade is led from dummy, West will hold off his ace to prevent declarer from reaching his hand with the queen. There seems to be no way around this, and the defense should prevail.

Hold the presses! Declarer has a clever maneuver available. First cash the top diamonds to unblock the suit, then lead the S J from dummy and overtake it with the queen. This surprising turn of events leaves West with no effective counter.

If he ducks, you are in your hand to take the club finesse and easily score six clubs, four diamonds, a heart and a spade. If he wins the S A, he is endplayed. A club lead makes it easy, and any other lead puts you in your hand to let you finesse clubs twice. Note how important the nine of spades is.

TopMain

© 1996 Richard Pavlicek