Puzzle 7F45   Main

by Richard Pavlicek

You won’t win any glamor awards for this auction. Many players would consider 4 forcing, but partner is not one of them. Perhaps you should feel honored that he preferred you at the helm in a Moysian fit, rather than himself in a nine-card diamond fit. Now all you have to do is justify that faith.

 4 SouthNone Vul 6 5 4 K 4 3 2 5 4 3 2 3 2 WestPassPassPass North2 4 Pass EastPassPassPass SOUTH2 3 4 J 10 A 9 8 7 9 8 7 K J 5 4 K 9 8 7 Q J 10 6 5 6 9 8 7 Lead: 7 A Q 3 2 — A K Q J 10 A Q 10 6

West’s lead is quite unusual but certainly better than a club. In real life this might have caught you off guard, ducking routinely in dummy, but not with all hands in view.

The rest is up to you. Make 4 .

## Solution

You had better grab the K at trick one; but then what? To succeed you must violate two basic principles of card play: On the K you must discard a winner (any diamond honor) — hence my title — and you must use dummy’s precious entry to take a losing club finesse instead of a winning spade finesse.

 4 South 6 5 4 K 4 3 2 5 4 3 2 3 2 Trick1 W2 N3 W4 S5 S6 S Lead 7 2! 8 A A 10 2ndK7274J 3rd5Q623 4 4th 10!K 2689 W-LW1L1W2W3W4W5 J 10 A 9 8 7 9 8 7 K J 5 4 K 9 8 7 Q J 10 6 5 6 9 8 7 Lead: 7 A Q 3 2 — A K Q J 10 A Q 10 6

Assume West captures your Q with the king (optionally you could finesse the 10, or win the A and lead the queen or 10) and returns a heart (best) which you ruff. Next cash a diamond (optional) and the A, then lead the 10 to blot out East’s nine. Assume West covers (else pitch a heart) and you ruff in dummy.

Could this be the time to take the spade finesse? No!

 win 5Success 6 5 4 3 5 4 3 — Trick7 N8 E9 S Lead 3! 10 6! 2nd 7 35 3rdJ9 4 4th83 8 W-LL1W1L2 J 10 A 9 9 8 5 K 9 8 7 Q J 10 — — North leads A Q 3 — K Q J 6 Win the rest

You must now lead a diamond, which East ruffs and returns a heart, which you ruff. Next lead the good 6 to pitch dummy’s last heart, and East ruffs (if not lead a diamond next). If East leads another heart, you can ruff in dummy and finally finesse spades and claim.

Trap: If a diamond is led before you lose a club trick, West can return a diamond for East to pitch a club, then you cannot reach dummy and must lose three trump tricks. This same tactic allows the defense to defeat 4  with an original diamond lead.

 Puzzle 7F45   Main Top   Valuable Discard