# Puzzle This

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

As South, you are declarer in 6NT. West leads the J. You win the ace, and try the K, but East shows out. What now? Assume clubs are not 5–0.

View Solution
North
♠ 10 9 8
K Q J 3
6 4 3 2
♣ J 9
West
♠ J 5 4
10 7 6 4
J 10 9 8
♣ 10 5
East
♠ K 7 6 2
A 9 8 5 2
7
♣ 8 7 6
South
♠ A Q 3
A K Q 5
♣ A K Q 4 3 2

You have one spade trick, three diamonds and six clubs for a total of 10. You need two more tricks. If you can cross to dummy and drive out the A, you’ll have two more tricks easily, but you must get to dummy twice — once to drive out the A and again to cash your winners. If you cross to the ♣J and play the K, East can win the ace and exit with a club. Even if East exits with a spade, allowing you to finesse, it doesn’t help: you’ll still need one more trick.

You have little choice: After you find out that diamonds are 4–1 at trick two, you must take a club finesse by playing low to dummy’s 9. If it succeeds, you can get to work on hearts while you still have a dummy entry with the ♣J. Desperate times call for drastic measures.

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