# Puzzle This

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A 9 8 7 2
K 7 4
7 3
♣ Q 7 2
South
♠ K Q J 10 3
A 6 3
K 6
♣ A 5 3

 West North East South 1♦ 1♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass

West leads the 10. East wins the ace and continues with the Q. You (South) win the king and draw trumps in two rounds.

You can afford only three losers. You’ve already lost a diamond, and you have a certain heart loser. Is there any way to hold your club losers to one trick?

View Solution
You have 17 points and dummy has 9. That makes 26, so the defense has 14. East opened the bidding, however, so he has almost all the missing points. Forget about leading a low club toward the queen: You know East has the ♣K.

The idea on this deal is to eliminate the hearts and hope that East will have to lead a club away from his king. After drawing trumps, cash the A K and play a third heart. If East wins the trick, he’s endplayed. For example:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A 9 8 7 2
K 7 4
7 3
♣ Q 7 2
West
♠ 6 4
9 8 5
10 9 8 4
♣ J 8 6 4
East
♠ 5
Q J 10 2
A Q J 5 2
♣ K 10 9
South
♠ K Q J 10 3
A 6 3
K 6
♣ A 5 3

Unless East is clever enough to unload all his heart honors, he will win the third round of hearts. A club exit will give you two club tricks, while any other exit will give you a ruff-sluff.

If West wins the third round of hearts, you’ll need the layout to be this:

Dlr:
Vul:
North
♠ A 9 8 7 2
K 7 4
7 3
♣ Q 7 2
West
♠ 6 4
J 8 5
10 9 8 4
♣ 9 8 6 4
East
♠ 5
Q 10 9 2
A Q J 5 2
♣ K J 9
South
♠ K Q J 10 3
A 6 3
K 6
♣ A 5 3

When West wins the J and plays a club, play low from dummy. East will play the 10, but you will duck. Again, East must lead away from his ♣K.

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