Puzzles 7H23 Main

Delusions of Grandeur

by Richard Pavlicek

I’m in a generous mood and will offer you three grand as a gift! Slams, that is. Can you win 13 tricks in each contract? If so, you’re a grand player. You may look at all four hands.

 South deals — West North East South None vul A 3 2 1 Q J 10 9 8 7 Pass 2 Pass 3 Q J 10 9 Pass 4 Pass 4 1 K Q J 10 9 8 2 Pass 6 Pass 7 Q J 10 9 8 K 7 6 5 4 All Pass — 6 5 4 3 2 5 4 3 2 — 1. heart control A 7 6 5 4 3 — Lead: K A K 7 South A K 8 7 6

It looks like 13 easy tricks, but the diamond suit is blocked. If you unblock the A-K early, West will get a ruff. If you draw his trumps, dummy will have no entry.

Solution

Discard a diamond from dummy at trick one and win the A. Lead a low club to dummy; ruff a heart with the K; lead a low club to dummy; ruff a heart with the A; then lead your last club. As you draw West’s trumps you can pitch one diamond, then cash the A to throw your last diamond to leave dummy high.

 Puzzles 7H23 Main Top Delusions of Grandeur

Are you ready for your second grand? Then try to make this one:

 North deals A 3 2 West North East South N-S vul A 3 2 1 NT Pass 4 1 4 3 2 Pass 4 NT2 Pass 5 A K 7 6 Pass 5 3 Pass 7 K 6 5 4 J 10 9 8 Pass Pass Pass K 6 5 4 J 10 9 8 7 6 5 — 1. Gerber 9 8 Q J 10 5 4 2. 3 aces Q 7 3. 1 king Q 7 Lead: 9 A K Q J 10 9 8 7 South 3 2

You have 11 top tricks, and all you need for the rest is a “double transfer repeating triple squeeze” — surely, a piece of cake (ha).

Solution

 Puzzles 7H23 Main Top Delusions of Grandeur

Few people made it this far! Here’s your third and final grand:

 East deals A 6 5 West North East South E-W vul A Q 6 Pass 4 A Q J 10 Pass 4 NT1 Pass 5 2 A K Q Pass 5 NT Pass 6 3 2 4 3 Pass 7 4 All Pass J 10 9 8 7 K 5 4 3 9 8 7 K 6 5 4 1. Roman key-card Blackwood J 10 9 8 7 6 5 2. 1 key card K Q J 10 9 8 7 3. no side king 2 4. get lucky! Lead: J 3 2 7 South 4 3 2

You have 12 top tricks. The contract looks doomed with the K and K offside, but a “double ruffout squeeze” saves the day.

Solution

Win the A and lead all but one spade, discarding three diamonds from dummy; then cash the clubs. Dummy now holds Q-6 and the A; you have a spade and 3-2. If East blanks his K, you can ruff it out; if West blanks his 10, you can lead the Q through East. Hence, each opponent must keep two hearts; then cash the A and your 3 is a winner!

 Puzzles 7H23 Main Top Delusions of Grandeur