Main   Quiz 7H29 by Richard Pavlicek  


As South, assume you are declarer in the contracts shown. Can you overcome the communication difficulties to succeed?

1. 3 NT South

S A Q 5 4
H 4 3
D 7 6 5 4
C Q J 10
Lead: C 5TableEast plays C 3
H A 7 6 5 2
D A K 3
C A 9 4


You have 9 top tricks after the club lead, however, the blockage in the spade suit prevents you from cashing them outright. What you need is a side entry to dummy so you can unblock the K-J of spades and then cross to dummy. Did you accept the free finesse in clubs? If you did it was a Trojan horse, and you would be defeated with accurate defense. The proper play is to win the C A at trick one, unblock the spades, then lead a club. This ensures an entry to dummy to cash all your spades.

2. 3 NT South

S Q 8 4 3
H 5 4 3
D A K 4 3
C A 2
Lead: D QTable
S 10 7 2
D 7
C K 9 6 5 4 3


Your best chance is to establish the club suit, which requires a 3-2 break. If you proceed in normal fashion (C A then low toward your hand), dummy will have no entry and you may lose your second diamond winner. You cannot afford to cash both diamonds early. The solution is to lead the C 2 and duck it (or finesse the nine). Regardless of the return, you can get to dummy with the C A to reach your diamond winner, and then cross to your hand in hearts to cash the remaining clubs.

3. 6 NT South

H A Q J 3
D 8 5 3
C A K Q J 10
Lead: H 2Table
S A Q 4 3
H 10 5
D A Q J 10 4 2
C 5


Did you fall for the trap of ducking the heart to your ten? Sorry, if East wins the H K and returns a diamond, you will be forced to risk the diamond finesse because your spade winners are blocked. The contract can be assured with careful play. The key is to play the H J (or queen) at trick one. If this loses you can handle any defense. For example, if a diamond comes back, win the D A, cross to dummy with the S K, return to your hand with the H 10, cash S A-Q, then lead a club and dummy is good.


© 2013 Richard Pavlicek