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Book ‘em, Dano!


Can you cope with a Hawaiian trump break — as in the old TV series Hawaii Five-O? On each problem West shows out on the first trump lead. Decide your play.

1. 4 H by South

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


Answer

After winning the H K to find out East has H J-9-8-7-2, you seem to be fated to lose two trumps and two diamonds; but maybe not. The key is to stop leading trumps and catch East in an endplay.

Cash all your side winners, then exit with a diamond. Suppose West wins two diamonds; then whatever he leads next, pitch a diamond from dummy and let East win the trick — underruff in your hand. Now you can claim the rest, as East must lead a trump around to the Q-10.

East held:

S 10-7-5 H J-9-8-7-2 D J-10 C Q-10-2

2. 4 S by South

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


Answer

After winning the H A, the S K reveals your misery. You need East to have three diamonds, so cash the D Q and D A-K to pitch a heart from dummy. It is tempting now to pitch the last heart on the D J and let East ruff. No! East will return a trump and you will go down.

You actually have a lock. Ruff the good diamond and lead a heart. If East gets in to return a trump (best), win the ace then ruff your last heart. The remaining S 9-7 must take two more tricks behind East’s S 8.

East held:

S 8-6-5-4-3 H J-7 D 9-6-5 C K-Q-8

3. 6 H by South

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


Answer

Hopefully, you were careful to ruff the second club with the H Q (or higher); then the H A exposes that nasty SOB (East) with all your trumps again. Grr!

To have any chance, you must be able to cash two spades; but you need only one diamond trick. Proper technique is to win the S A, D A (important) and S K. When spades break 3-2, you are home. Just lead good spades until East ruffs, then overruff with the H K and lead your low trump to dummy.

East held:

S 10-3 H 7-6-4-3-2 D 8 C Q-J-9-8-5

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek