Puzzle 7F47   Main


Diamond Dilemma


  by Richard Pavlicek

Coping with preempts can be difficult, and you have your work cut out on this one. After East opens 3 H, you double for takeout, West raises to game, and partner bids 4 NT. This is not Blackwood but asks you to choose a minor, and you happily oblige with 5 D.

5 D South
None Vul
S A 5 4
H 10
D A 9 7 6 2
C 6 5 4 3
West

4 H
Pass
North

4 NT
Pass
EAST
3 H
Pass
Pass
South
Dbl
5 D
S Q J 10 9 8
H A J 2
D K
C J 10 9 8
TableS 7 6
H K 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
D 5 4
C 7
Lead: S Q S K 3 2
H Q
D Q J 10 8 3
C A K Q 2

You have 10 easy tricks with the favorable trump lie, but the mirror distribution leaves no obvious way to develop an 11th. With West protecting both black suits, a squeeze may be in the offing; but how can you rectify the count without giving up one of your threats? Any ideas?

Make 5 D against any defense.

Solution

Your first thoughts might be to draw trumps and exit with a heart, but this won’t work because West can win and exit safely, no matter how many black winners you cash early. If only you could arrange a throw-in against East.

Therein lies the solution, but it requires a devious scheme.

5 D South S A 5 4
H 10
D A 9 7 6 2
C 6 5 4 3
Trick
1 W
2 N
3 W
4 S
5 N
Lead
S Q
H 10
S J
D Q
C 3
2nd
A
3
4
K
7
3rd
6
Q
7
A
A
4th
2
A
K
4
8
W-L
W1
L1
W2
W3
W4
S Q J 10 9 8
H A J 2
D K
C J 10 9 8
Table S 7 6
H K 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
D 5 4
C 7



Lead: S Q
S K 3 2
H Q
D Q J 10 8 3
C A K Q 2

Win the S A (or the king) and give up a heart. Assume a spade return (no defense matters) to the king, then lead the D Q; king, ace. Do not draw the outstanding trump. Return to hand with the C A to reach this position:

D win 7
Success
S 5
H
D 9 7 6 2
C 6 5 4
Trick
6 S
7 S
8 E
9 S
10 S
11 N
Lead
C K
D 3
H K
D J
D 8
D 7
2nd
9
S 8
D 10
S 9
H 2
H 7
3rd
4
2!
J
6
9
S 3
4th
H 4!
5
C 5
H 5
H 6
?
W-L
W1
L1
W2
W3
W4
S 10 9 8
H J 2
D
C J 10 9
Table S
H K 9 8 7 6 5 4
D 5
C



South leads
S 3
H
D J 10 8 3
C K Q 2
West is squeezed

Next cash the C K, which East smartly refuses to ruff; else he must concede a ruff-sluff, resulting in West being squeezed. Well, if East want’s to play that way, you must make him an offer he can’t refuse. Lead the D 3, and when West shows out, duck in dummy to force East to win the D 5. Ruff the heart return with the D 10, throwing a club from dummy. Win the D J, overtake the D 8 with the nine, then lead dummy’s last diamond, throwing your spade. West is squeezed in the black suits.

The forced ruff-sluff from East only broke even for the trick you gave away in diamonds, but it rectified the count for a squeeze without wasting a black-suit threat.

Puzzle 7F47   MainTop   Diamond Dilemma

© 1997 Richard Pavlicek