Main   Quiz 7H78 by Richard Pavlicek  

Sparkling In Diamonds

Does your declarer play sparkle?
Can you make these contracts on a squeeze play?

Problem 1

5 D South
E-W Vul
S 2
H 9 4 3
D K Q J 10 3
C A 5 4 3
West

1 S
Pass
North

3 D
5 D
East

3 H
All Pass
South
1 D
Pass
Lead: S K
then H Q
TableEast plays S 10
then H 8
S 9 8 3
H A 2
D A 9 8 7 6
C K 10 2

A. Win H A; draw trumps; C 3 to 10
B. Win H A; ruff S with D K; D 3 to nine
C. Win H A; lead H 2
D. Duck the H Q


Solution

You have 8 top tricks and can ruff two spades in dummy for 10. The 11th must come from a miracle in clubs or a club-heart squeeze. The key play is to duck the H Q, which rectifies the count. Assume West continues with the H J.

Ruff a spade high; cash the D Q; lead the D J to your ace; ruff your last spade high; then lead the D 3 to your nine. Cash your last two diamonds, discarding clubs from dummy. East will be squeezed on the last trump.

East held: S Q-10-6 H K-10-8-7-6-5 D 2 C Q-J-9

TopMain

Problem 2

6 D South
N-S Vul
S K 6 5
H 9 6 5 4 3
D K
C 6 5 4 3
West

Dbl
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

Pass
2 H
3 S
5 D
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
2 D
2 S
4 D
6 D
Lead: C KTableEast plays C 7
S A Q 4 3
H A
D A Q J 10 9 8
C A 2

Trumps split 4-2

A. Win C A; D A-Q-J-10; lead C 2
B. Win C A; H A; D K; ruff H
C. Win C A; lead C 2
D. Duck the first trick


Solution

You have 11 top tricks and the 12th must come from a 3-3 spade break or a squeeze. The best chance for a squeeze is if one opponent (West given the auction) is at least 4-4 in the black suits. Win the C A and return a club (cashing the H A first is also OK). Assume East wins the club and returns a spade (best).

Win the S A in hand; cross to the D K and ruff a club. This is the key play to isolate your club threat so only one player can stop it. Next lead all your trumps and the H A, and West will be squeezed.

West held: S J-8-7-2 H J-8-2 D 5-2 C K-Q-10-8

TopMain

Problem 3

7 D South
None Vul
S A 5 4 3
H A 9 4
D J 10 9 8
C A K
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
North
1 NT
2 H
3 S
7 D
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
2 D
3 D
5 NT
Lead: S JTableTrumps split 3-2
S K
H K 10 8 3 2
D A K Q 7
C J 6 5

A definite overbid, but six would be too easy!

A. Win S K; D A-K-Q; H A
B. Win S K; D A-K; D J; ruff S
C. Win S K; D A; D J; ruff S
D. Win S K; C A-K; S A


Solution

You have 10 top tricks and can ruff two spades in your hand to get 12. Your 13th trick might come from a lucky heart layout, the C Q falling, or a heart-club squeeze. You must time the play carefully.

Win the S K, cash the D A and lead your low diamond to dummy; ruff a spade (there is no need to risk cashing S A); cross to the C A; ruff a spade; then cross to the C K. Cash dummy’s last two trumps and the S A, discarding hearts from your hand. West will be squeezed.

West held: S J-10-9-6 H Q-7-5 D 5-2 C Q-9-8-2

TopMain

© 1997 Richard Pavlicek