Quiz 7H82 Main

# Tricks of the Trade

by Richard Pavlicek

Each of these contracts requires a tricky play to succeed.
As South, are you up to the task?

### Problem 1

 IMPs J 10 9 3 West North East South None vul A Q 10 1 3 Pass 2 Pass 4 8 6 5 4 3 Pass Pass Pass Lead: K East plays 9 K 8 7 6 5 4 K A K 4 South A 10 7 2

 Your play? A. Win A, K to ace, lead JB. Win A, K, A, ruff C. Win A, A-K, K to aceD. Duck the first trick

### Problem 2

 IMPs 10 5 West North East South E-W vul Q 2 1 Pass 1 A J 10 7 1 2 4 5 A K 10 7 5 Pass Pass Pass Lead: A East plays 9 K J 6 — K Q 9 8 5 4 2 5 South 8 6 2 Trumps split 1-1

 Your play? A. Ruff, win K, 2 to 10B. Ruff, win K, A-KC. Discard a spadeD. Discard a club

### Problem 3

 IMPs 4 3 2 West North East South None vul 9 8 7 6 2 A 8 7 6 Pass 2 Pass 2 3 2 Pass 3 Pass 4 Pass 4 Pass 4 NT Lead: J East plays 8 Pass 5 Pass 6 All Pass A A Q J 10 K Q J 5 6 South A K Q 7 You win the A (good play)

 What next? A. Win A, lead QB. Lead the QC. Win A, finesse QD. Win A-K, ruff

## Explanations

Top Tricks of the Trade

### Problem 1

If the A-Q are offside (or if you misguess), you are in danger of losing two clubs and two spades as soon as you give up the lead. What can you do about it?

Of course! You can discard two clubs on dummy’s hearts. The problem is the hearts are blocked, so you will need another entry to dummy — a diamond ruff. Win the A, cash the K and A, then ruff the K, etc.

Ironically, if your K were a small diamond, this hand would be a lot easier. The aversion to ruffing a winner clouds the picture.

### Problem 2

What could go wrong here? Well, if you play clubs in routine fashion you are likely to lose a club trick to East; then a spade return will defeat you if the A-Q are wrong or you misguess.

You must keep East off lead! The clever play is to discard a club on the opening lead. In effect you lose a heart instead of a club. Now, with a 3-2 club break you can establish that suit with one ruff and discard two spades on the good clubs.

If the clubs happen to break 4-1, you will still succeed if the spades are friendly.

### Problem 3

Assuming one trump loser, you have 11 sure tricks and the 12th must come from a ruff. The danger here is a 4-1 trump break, in which case it will be difficult to make your ruff and still keep trump control.

The secret is to lead the Q from your hand; and if it holds, continue with the jack. If it loses and a heart is returned, you can ruff a club and return to hand with a diamond to draw the last trump.

It is essential not to play the A on the first or second round. Give West K-x-x-x to see how he can foil any attempt this way.

 Quiz 7H82 Main Top Tricks of the Trade

© 2014 Richard Pavlicek