Main   Quiz 7H74 by Richard Pavlicek  

Three Notrump On Ice

As South, can you find the plays to guarantee making each contract?
No fair peeking at the answers!

Problem 1

3 NT South
None Vul
S A Q 5 4 2
H A 10 5 4
D Q
C Q J 10
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
North

1 S
2 H
3 NT
East

Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 D
2 D
2 NT
Lead: C 2TableEast plays C K
S 3
H Q 3 2
D A K 10 9 8 7
C A 4 3

A. Win C A; finesse S Q
B. Win C A; D Q; lead H 4
C. Duck C K; win C Q; D A
D. Duck C K; win C Q; D Q


Solution

How sweet it is! Did you pounce on East’s C K? If you did you can say goodbye to your contract. This would remove a crucial entry and you could no longer establish and use the diamonds. It’s a bit painful but you must duck the C K. Don’t accept a Trojan horse!

Assume a club is returned. Win in dummy, lead the D Q and overtake it in your hand — look at those beautiful diamond spots. Just continue leading diamonds to smoke out the jack, and you have nine certain tricks: two clubs, five diamonds, and dummy’s two aces.

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Problem 2

3 NT South
None Vul
S 3 2
H K Q 10 9 2
D A Q 10 9
C 6 5
West

Pass
All Pass
North
1 H
2 D
East
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
3 NT
Lead: D 8Table
S Q 9 6 4
H A 8
D K J
C A J 10 4 3

A. Win D Q; H A; H K
B. Win D Q; H A; finesse H 10
C. Win D Q; lead H 2 to eight
D. Win D Q; lead C 5 to jack


Solution

You have eight top tricks, and the heart suit will supply another even if the H J fails to drop. The danger is the spade suit — if East gains the lead in hearts, he might lead twice through your S Q and allow the defenders to run four spades. Note, however, that if West gains the lead this threat vanishes.

Therein lies the key. Win the D Q in dummy, and lead a low heart to the eight. If it loses and West tries to shut out dummy with a diamond return, you can win the D A and cash the D 10 to discard the H A — a neat jettison play.

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Problem 3

3 NT South
None Vul
S 3
H K 3 2
D Q 9 4 3 2
C A Q J 10
West

Pass
Pass
North

2 S1
3 NT
East

Pass
All Pass
South
1 NT
2 NT
Lead: S 5TableEast plays S 10
S A Q J
H Q J 5 4
D K 7 5
C K 3 2

1. minor-suit Stayman

A. Win S Q; lead H 4
B. Win S Q; lead D 5
C. Win S Q; C Q; lead H 2
D. Win S Q; C Q; lead D 2


Solution

After winning the S Q you have six top tricks, and you can establish two in hearts and one in diamonds. The problem is you may have to give up the lead twice, and a spade through your A-J will hurt.

The solution is to force East to waste an ace. Cross to dummy in clubs and lead a low heart. If East takes the ace you’ll get three heart tricks and the battle is over. So assume the H Q wins. Cross again in clubs and lead a low diamond. Similar story! Finally, if the D K wins, just lead another heart to ensure nine tricks.

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© 1998 Richard Pavlicek