Quiz 7J58 Main

# If It Walks Like a Duck…

by Richard Pavlicek

…And it quacks like a duck, you got a duck — at least you do on each of these problems.
The catch is deciding which suit and when. How do you play each contract?

### Problem 1

 IMPs A Q 6 5 4 West North East South None vul 7 5 1 NT 8 5 4 Pass 2 1 Pass 2 A 7 2 Pass 3 NT Pass Pass Pass Lead: 4 East plays J 1. Jacoby transfer 3 2 A K 6 2 A K 2 3 NT South K 5 4 3

 Your play? A. Win K, finesse Q, duck a spadeB. Win K, duck a spadeC. Win K, duck a clubD. Duck the first trick

### Problem 2

 IMPs 4 3 West North East South None vul Q 10 3 2 1 A 7 5 4 2 Pass 1 NT Pass 3 4 3 Pass 4 Pass Pass Pass Lead: 9 East plays 7 A K 6 5 2 K J 9 8 6 3 4 South A K Why is West leading your suit?

 Your play? A. Win A, duck a spadeB. Win A, lead 9C. Win A, duck a diamondD. Duck the first trick

### Problem 3

 IMPs Q 3 West North East South None vul A 3 2 A K 6 5 3 Pass 2 NT Pass 3 8 5 3 2 Pass 4 Pass Pass Pass Lead: Q East plays 7 K J 10 9 8 7 9 6 2 8 2 4 South A 4 If you have no clue, save time and get the duck out of here!

 Your play? A. Win A, duck a heartB. Win A, A-K, ruff , duck a heartC. Win A, duck a diamondD. Duck the first trick

## Explanations

Top If It Walks Like a Duck…

### Problem 1

It might appear that you should duck the first trick, but that would be an error. The opponents might shift to a club (and lead another club later) to knock out dummy’s A entry before you can establish the spade suit.

Win the K and duck a spade. The first-round duck is crucial to establish the long spade in the likely event they break 4-2. Whatever the return, win in hand and finesse the Q (or win the ace if the king pops up) and continue spades.

West held: K-8 Q-10-8-4 J-9-7 Q-10-8-6

### Problem 2

West’s lead of your first bid suit is surely a singleton, so the danger is obvious: If you cash the top spades, West will ruff; then the opponents can lead two rounds of trumps, leaving you a trick short.

It doesn’t help to draw trumps. After winning the A, you should duck a spade. Then you can ruff your low spades (with the Q-10 if necessary) and eventually draw trumps to win the K, or crossruff, depending on the defense.

West held: 9 A-7-5 K-J-10-8 J-9-7-6-5

### Problem 3

Your 10th trick might come from (1) a heart ruff or (2) establishing the diamond suit. The opponents can prevent (1) by leading trumps, or (2) by attacking dummy’s A entry — but with proper technique, they can’t stop both.

Win the A, cash the A-K, and ruff a diamond (assume they break 4-2). Next duck a heart. If they drive out the A, you can ruff your heart; if they clear trumps, you can establish the long diamond with the A entry. Neat.

West held: 5-4 K-8-7-5 Q-10-9-4 Q-J-10

 Quiz 7J58 Main Top If It Walks Like a Duck…