Main   Quiz 7J22 by Richard Pavlicek  

Moysian Mania

A “Moysian” trump fit consists of four trumps facing three — one short of the usual requisite. These contracts are often treacherous and require careful play. Test your skill on these deals.

1. 3 S South

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


Luckily, you averted a trump lead and are in great shape to secure nine tricks. It looks easy enough to cash the D K-Q, cross to your hand with a trump, then continue diamonds. Well, not quite; you would never be able to score the D A and fail. The presence of the D Q may have blinded you. The proper play is to overtake the second diamond with the ace, and ruff two diamonds in dummy with the K-J of spades. This ensures the contract (barring a singleton diamond).

West held:

S 5 H K-9-4-2 D J-9-8-5-4 C K-Q-J 2. 4 S South

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


You have 10 tricks (four spades, five clubs and a diamond) barring horrible breaks, but the heart lead threatens to shorten your trumps. Once you ruff you will be dependent on a 3-3 trump break, which is well against the odds. The solution? Don’t ruff! Simply discard diamonds on the first three heart leads (you would likely lose those tricks later anyway). The opponents cannot benefit by leading a fourth heart since dummy can ruff, and you will take the rest.

West held:

S 9-8-7-3 H A-K-10-9-4 D 10-3 C 9-2 3. 6 S South

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


Please don’t ask how you reached this contract, but it’s actually pretty good. You have 11 top tricks (three spades, four hearts, two diamonds and two clubs) and a club ruff will make it 12 provided you can keep control and draw trumps. Win the C A and ruff a club with the queen of spades. Next lead the S A and another spade to drive out the king. Whatever the return, you can draw trumps and claim. Note the importance of saving the C K and ruffing the club high.

West held:

S 7-2 H 9-8-7-2 D J-9 C Q-J-10-4-2 TopMain

© 2013 Richard Pavlicek