Main   Quiz 7H78 by Richard Pavlicek  

Sparkling In Diamonds

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

1. 5 D South

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


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 2. 6 D South

S K 6 5
H 9 6 5 4 3
C 6 5 4 3
Lead: C KTableTrumps split 4-2
S A Q 4 3
D A Q J 10 9 8
C A 2


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 has 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 3. 7 D South

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


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

© 2013 Richard Pavlicek