Puzzle 7F80   Main

# Trickless Triumph

by Richard Pavlicek

The trick to winning more tricks on defense is to have a trick up your sleeve to trick declarer — or something like that. On this occasion West was a real trickster, as he advertised his forthcoming trickery with a tricky double.

 3 NT× SouthNone Vul K J 7 4 9 8 7 5 6 K 8 5 3 West1 2 Dbl NorthDbl3 Pass East1 PassPass SOUTH1 1 NT3 NTPass A Q 9 — K J 8 7 5 4 3 2 A Q 10 6 2 A 10 6 4 3 2 10 10 9 7 Lead: 7 8 5 3 K Q J A Q 9 J 6 4 2

After a routine diamond lead, how do East-West defeat 3 NT and teach South a lesson about overbidding? If it looks easy, note that declarer also can see all four hands and will duck the first trick, letting East win the 10. This prevents West from establishing his suit, then the lucky lie of the black suits may allow declarer to succeed.

Plot the defensive trickery.

## Solution

After a diamond lead to the 10 (ducked by South), East must shift to ace and another heart.

 3 NT× South K J 7 4 9 8 7 5 6 K 8 5 3 Trick1 W2 E3 E4 S Lead 7 A 2 3 2nd6JKQ! 3rd10 A! Q!K 4th9572 W-LL1L2W1W2 A Q 9 — K J 8 7 5 4 3 2 A Q 10 6 2 A 10 6 4 3 2 10 10 9 7 Lead: 7 8 5 3 K Q J A Q 9 J 6 4 2

That alone doesn’t do enough, but West takes the spotlight by jettisoning his A-Q on the two heart leads. How’s that for a tricky start! South next leads a spade, and West must play the queen, won by dummy’s king, to reach this position:

 NT win 7Failure J 7 4 9 8 — K 8 5 3 Trick5 N6 S7 N8 E Lead 3 2 8 3 2nd7 210Q 3rdJK4 4 4th A!9 38 W-LW1W2L1W3 A 9 — K J 8 5 4 3 2 — 10 6 10 6 4 3 — 10 9 7 North leads 8 5 Q A Q J 6 4 2 Lose 2 more tricks

When declarer next returns to hand with the J, West affirms his devout trickiness by tossing the A. Take that! Now declarer cannot set up both clubs and spades before East can set up his hearts. Note that East still has a stopper in both black suits.

When was the last time you doubled 3 NT and set it without taking a trick? Not lately I suspect, but for the defenders to triumph, West had to go trickless. With any other defense, declarer could maneuver to lose at least one black-suit trick to West and develop nine tricks (three spades, two hearts, one diamond and three clubs) while the defense is unable to develop a red suit.

 Puzzle 7F80   Main Top   Trickless Triumph