Main   Puzzles 7H32 by Richard Pavlicek

# Magic Tricks

In each diagram your goal is to win six of the seven tricks. Spades are trumps and South leads. Warning: The key plays are tricky!

1. win 6 South

 A A Q 5 4 3 2 — 3 K J 10 9 K 2 2 3 2 6 K 9 8 South leads — — A Q J A Q J 10

### Answer

If North were on lead, this would be a breeze by drawing the enemy trumps; but South cannot do this. If South leads winners, East and West will each win a trump trick. There is only one solution: South must lose a trick to the singleton K, as silly as it might seem. Cash the A and pitch the Q from North, then lead the J (or queen). West must give North the lead, and South jettisons his top diamonds on North’s aces to leave the North hand high.

2. win 6 South

 A J 8 2 K — A 3 K Q 9 — A 8 7 2 10 A J 10 9 Q 4 South leads 3 — K Q K J 10 9

### Answer

The object is to hold West to one trump trick. South leads the K, West covers and North must ruff with the eight. Lead the 3 to the jack (unless East plays the queen), then cash the Q to discard the club ace. Got all that? I’m sure that’s just how you would have played it at the table. South continues with the K: If West ruffs high, North discards the K; on a diamond return, North ruffs low and South overruffs to effect a trump coup against West.

3. win 6 South

 Q 2 — 2 A Q 9 8 — — A J 9 8 K J 10 K 10 K Q — 4 3 2 South leads A J A 2 K Q 10 —

### Answer

This ending is perhaps the most bizarre of all. South must lead the A and ruff it with the Q. Never ruff a deuce when you can ruff an ace, I always say. Next finesse the J and draw the last trump, discarding a club from dummy. South now loses the 2 to East, squeezing West in the process. If West discards a club, North discards the 2, and North’s A-Q-9 win the last three tricks. If West instead discards the A, North keeps the 2.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek