Puzzle This

♠ A K 9 5
10 9 4
A Q J 10
♣ K 8

♠ Q 10 7 3
A 7 6
9 8 6
♣ A 9 3

With the opponents silent throughout the auction, somehow you end up in 6♠. West leads the K. What’s your plan?

View Solution

With a certain loser in hearts, you need the ♦K to be onside to make the contract. But what if West has K x x x? Can you still win four diamond tricks to discard a heart loser?

The key to making your contract is making the best use of the limited entries to your hand. The heart lead takes away one entry. If you were to then draw trumps,ending in your hand, you could take a diamond finesse. You could come back with the ♣A to repeat the finesse. You cannot, however, get back to your hand for a third finesse. Your only other entry is a trump, but you need to save one spade in dummy to ruff a club.

Here’s the plan: Win the heart lead. At trick two, immediately finesse in diamonds. Play the ♠A K Q. Finesse again in diamonds. Return to your hand with the ♣A for the third diamond finesse. The A serves as a heart discard. Give West his heart trick and then cross-ruff in hearts and clubs for the final two tricks.