Main   Quiz 7J18 by Richard Pavlicek  

Suit Establishment

For each of these contracts the key to success is choosing to establish the right suit, and going about it the right way. Are you up to the task?

1. 4 H South

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


A crossruff will fail because you must lose the lead twice (in clubs and spades) and the enemy will lead trumps each time. You must choose between setting up dummy’s club suit or your own spade suit. You should pick spades because your hand has more trump entries. Win the D K and give up a spade. Assume a trump return (best); win in hand; ruff a spade and concede a club. Win the trump return in hand; spade ruff; diamond ace; spade ruff; club ruff; draw the last trump and your last spade is good.

West held:

S K-9-6 H 10 D J-10-9-6-5 C A-10-7-5 2. 3 NT South

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


Wow! Four suits to choose from! You have eight top tricks and need to establish the long card in some suit. But which one? Spades seems best because of the solid spot cards, but limited entries prevent you from doing it routinely. Try it. But wait! What you need is a total of three spade tricks, and this can be guaranteed by overtaking the king with the ace. Win the opening lead in hand; S K to the ace; concede a spade to somebody; then the C K and D A provide adequate entries to finish the job.

West held:

S J-4-3-2 H Q-8-7-3 D J-10 C J-9-4 3. 6 S South

S 5 3 2
H A 3 2
D A 7 6 5 3
C K 8
Lead: C JTable
S A K Q 7 6
H K 7 6 5
D 2
C A 4 3


Assuming a 3-2 trump break and a club ruff in dummy, you have 11 easy tricks. The 12th trick will have to come from your long heart which requires a 3-3 break, or dummy’s long diamond which requires a 4-3 break. The latter chance is better, but you must play carefully. Win the C A, cash one trump and duck a diamond (you cannot afford to ruff three diamonds). Assume a heart return (best); win in hand and cash a second trump; club to king; diamond ruff; club ruff; diamond ruff; draw the last trump.

West held:

S J-9-4 H Q-10-9-4 D Q-10-8 C J-10-9 TopMain

© 2013 Richard Pavlicek