Quiz 8D41 Main

# Notrump Insight

by Richard Pavlicek

Do you have the insight to be a winning declarer at notrump? Or would you just rather have no Trump in sight? The choice is yours, and you don’t have to wait until Election Day!

Test yourself on these six problems. Assume the scoring is IMPs, and your opponents are world-class, not to be confused with “BBO world class” which can mean a notch above hopeless.

Choose your play on each problem then click “Score Me” to see how you did. Explanations follow the quiz.

Are you ready? Then make the winning plays, or make America great again, but go to it like a bat out of Hell.

### Problem 1

 IMPs K 6 2 West North East South None vul A J 5 1 1 1 NT A 3 2 Pass Pass 2 2 NT J 10 3 2 Pass Pass Pass Lead: 7 East plays 10 Q 9 4 K 8 7 Q 10 6 5 4 2 NT South K 4 You play low from dummy and capture East’s 10 with the queen

 What next? A. Win A, lead 2 to queenB. Win A, lead 2 to kingC. Win A, lead 2 to queenD. Win A, lead 2 to 10E.  Win A, lead 2 to kingF.  Duck a diamond

### Problem 2

 IMPs 6 5 West North East South N-S vul A Q 10 Pass 1 NT J 10 4 Pass 3 NT Pass Pass Q 10 6 3 2 Pass Lead: 4 East plays 10 A Q 7 K J 7 6 A 5 3 3 NT South K 5 4 You win the Q

 What next? A. Win A, 2 to king (wins), 4 to queenB. Win A, 2 to king (wins), 4 to 10C. Lead K (wins), 4 to queenD. Lead K (wins), 4 to 10E.  Lead 4 to queenF.  Lead 4 to 10

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### Problem 3

 IMPs K 2 West North East South E-W vul 8 4 3 2 9 7 6 3 2 Pass 2 Pass 2 NT 7 4 3 Pass 3 NT Pass Pass Pass Lead: Q East plays K A Q 7 6 A Q 10 2 A K 3 NT South A 6 2 You let the K win, and East returns the 8

 Your play? A. Win A, K, finesse QB. Win A, K, finesse 10C. Win A, cash AD. Win A, lead 6E.  Duck, win A, K, finesse QF.  Duck, win A, cash A

### Problem 4

 IMPs Q 10 4 2 West North East South Both vul 10 9 1 Pass Pass 2 NT Q 6 4 2 Pass Pass Pass 7 6 4 Lead: 7 East plays Q A K J K 5 4 3 A 9 5 2 NT South K Q 3

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### Problem 5

 IMPs A 4 3 West North East South None vul Q 10 4 1 Pass Pass 2 NT 9 7 2 Pass 3 NT Pass Pass 6 5 4 3 Pass Lead: K East plays 9 8 7 A 6 2 A K J 10 5 3 NT South A K 8 You duck, West continues Q (ducked) then the Q

### Problem 6

 IMPs A 7 6 4 West North East South E-W vul J 1 NT A K 7 5 4 Pass 2 Pass 2 A 4 3 Pass 3 Pass 3 Pass 6 NT All Pass Lead: K East plays 2 K Q A K Q 10 9 10 6 3 6 NT South 10 8 6

 Your play? A. Win A, K-Q, A, AB. Win A, K-Q, A-KC. Win A, run heartsD. Duck, win A, K-Q, A, AE.  Duck, win A, K-Q, A-KF.  Duck, win A, run hearts

## Explanations

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### Problem 1

 IMPs K 6 2 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul A J 5 1. W 7 2 10 Q A 3 2 2. S 7! 2 A 6 J 10 3 2 3. N 2 7 Q! 8 7 5 A J 10 8 3 4. S 4 9 3! K 4 3 2 Q 10 9 6 5. E A 4 5 2 J 9 8 K 7 6. E 8 K 6 3 Q 9 7 6 5 A 8 7. S 5 J A 3 Q 9 4 8. N 5 9 K 3 K 8 7 Cash 2 more winners Q 10 6 5 4 2 NT South K 4

Cross to dummy in hearts, not diamonds (East would unblock the K) and lead a low diamond. Whether East wins or ducks, you can establish diamonds without West gaining the lead.

### Problem 2

 IMPs 6 5 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul A Q 10 1. W 4 5 10 Q J 10 4 2. S 6! 2 Q 3 Q 10 6 3 2 3. N 2 8 K 7 K 9 8 4 3 J 10 2 4. S 4 9 Q! J 8 2 9 5 4 3 5. N 3 4 5 A Q 8 7 K 9 6 2 Win 7 more tricks A 9 7 J 8 A Q 7 K J 7 6 A 5 3 3 NT South K 5 4

You should plan to lead the first club from dummy, and if the K wins, continue with a club to the queen. Logic is that an expert East would hop with ace-doubleton to return a spade, and West would routinely duck twice with A-x-x as the only hope.

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### Problem 3

 IMPs K 2 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul 8 4 3 1. W Q 3 K 2 9 7 6 3 2 2. E 8 A! 5 4 7 4 3 3. S A! 5 3 6 J 3 10 9 8 5 4 4. S 6 3 K 4 J 9 5 K 7 6 5. N 4 7 Q 9 J 10 4 Q 8 5 6. S 2 J 8 K Q J 10 9 5 K 8 Win 5 more tricks A Q 7 6 A Q 10 2 A K 3 NT South A 6 2

Goal is to prevent East from unblocking successfully in hearts. If he does so immediately, you can switch horses and squeeze-endplay West.

### Problem 4

 IMPs Q 10 4 2 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul 10 9 1. W 7 9 Q K Q 6 4 2 2. S A 3 2 5 7 6 4 3. S K 6 4 7 6 3 9 8 7 5 4. S 3! J 10 6 A J 8 7 2 Q 6 5. W A 2 8 4 K 10 J 8 7 3 6. W 8 4 9 5 A J 10 2 9 8 5 7. W 2 4 5 5 A K J 8. W J 6 8 K K 5 4 3 9. S J 2 Q 3 A 9 5 10. N 10 7 3 A 2 NT South K Q 3 Win 2 more tricks

Only realistic hope is a doubleton spade West, so he’ll be endplayed after running hearts. If he exits with a low club, he’ll be strip-squeezed in the end.

 Quiz 8D41 Main Top Notrump Insight

### Problem 5

 IMPs A 4 3 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul Q 10 4 1. W K 3 9 7 9 7 2 2. W Q 4 2 8 6 5 4 3 3. W Q 3 2 A K Q 10 J 9 6 5 2 4. S J! Q 2 4 K J 3 9 8 7 5 5. W J 4 10 K Q 8 3 6 4 6. S 5! 3 9 6 Q J 9 7 10 2 7. N A 5 2 10 8 7 8. N 7 6 A 8 A 6 2 9. S K 3 5 5 A K J 10 5 10. S 10 7 6 7 3 NT South A K 8 11. S 8! 9 4 8 West is endplayed

To squeeze-endplay West you must reach dummy to cash the spade ace and return to hand in diamonds. Only the immediate J allows this.

### Problem 6

 IMPs A 7 6 4 Trick Lead 2nd 3rd 4th E-W vul J 1. W K A! 2 6 A K 7 5 4 2. N 4 5 K 2 A 4 3 3. S Q 3 6 8 J 3 2 10 9 8 5 4. S 3 8 A 2 5 4 3 8 7 6 2 5. N A 9 6 J Q 9 8 J 2 6. N J 2 A 3 K Q J 5 9 7 2 7. S K 4 4 6 K Q 8. S Q 5 5 7 A K Q 10 9 9. S 10 5 7 8 10 6 3 10. S 9 ? 6 NT South 10 8 6 West is squeezed, lose 1

If you duck the K to rectify the count for a squeeze, a heart shift will ruin your communication. Therefore, you should win the first trick, unblock spades, cross to the A and cash the A. Running hearts then effects a delayed-duck squeeze.

## Perry Groot Wins!

These six problems were published in 2018 as a long-running contest, which is now closed. Congratulations to Perry Groot (Netherlands) who topped all participants with the only perfect score. Scoring was based on how many of the first eight plays on each problem matched my recommended plays, so the best possible score was 48 (8×6). Equivalent plays or transpositions were accepted as correct.

There were 37 participants, and only one attempt was allowed for each. Only those scoring 32 or higher are listed below. Ties are broken by the date and time of entry (earliest wins).

Honor Roll
RankNameLocationScore
1Perry GrootNetherlands48
2Wojciech PapugaPoland46
3Ding-Hwa HsiehMissouri44
4Sjaak SmetsersNetherlands44
5Ben NortonEngland43
6Jonathan MestelEngland42
7John ReardonEngland36
8Jean-Christophe ClementFrance35
9Charles BlairIllinois35

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