Main   Quiz 7H35 by Richard Pavlicek  

Slams with Endplays

As South, you are declarer in 6 S on each deal. Can you find the winning play? In each case assume the missing trumps divide 2-1.

1. 6 S South

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


The only problem on this deal is a bad diamond break, and a neat endplay will ensure your success. Win the C A and ruff a club; draw the enemy trumps; cross to dummy with a heart (not a diamond!), and ruff the last club. The key play now is to cash one top diamond in your hand, then exit with a heart. Whoever wins must lead a diamond (else give you a ruff and discard), and you simply play second hand low to guarantee picking up the diamonds. No lie of the cards can defeat you.

2. 6 S South

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


The problem here is not to rely on the club finesse, and again you can ensure your contract with the proper technique. Win the H K and draw trumps in two rounds. Next cash the D A and ruff a diamond to eliminate that suit. West’s opening lead places East with the H Q-J. You are now ready for an endplay: Lead a heart and finesse the nine which East must win — and you can claim! Whether East returns a heart, a diamond or a club, this will give you an extra trick and the contract.

3. 6 S South

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


Normally, with 10 cards missing the king, the proper play is to take the finesse. In this case, however, you should refuse the 50-percent finesse in favor of an endplay that offers a greater chance. Win the D K and lead the S Q (in case East covers) but win the ace regardless. Assuming the S K does not drop, cash the D A and win all the clubs (overtaking the C Q) before exiting with a trump. Whoever wins must lead a heart — then you will make your contract whenever the H Q-J are in different hands.


© 2013 Richard Pavlicek