Puzzle This


Dlr: East
Vul: N-S
♠ 10 8 7 6
A K 10
♣ K Q J
♠ Q 9 5 4 3 2
6 5 3
♣ 5 4 3

West North East South
1NT(1) Pass
Pass Dbl Pass 2♠
Pass 4♠ All Pass

(1) 12-14HCP

East opens a weak 1NT. Despite holding a terrible hand, you soon find yourself as declarer in 4♠.

West leads the ♠J to East’s king. The ♠A is next, and East exits with the Q. What’s your plan?

View Solution
Your top losers are the ♠A K and the ♣A, too, so you have to find some way to avoid a heart loser. Dummy’s diamonds can provide a parking place for the heart loser, but how do you decide whether to finesse against West or take a ruffing finesse against East, i.e., play the A and run the Q?

The answer is in the bidding. You know East has 12 to 14 points, so first find out who has the ♣A. If you play a club honor from dummy and East covers, you know everything about his values: the ♠A K, the Q J (from his play at trick three) and the ♣A. That’s 14 points, meaning that West has the K. You can eventually cross to your hand with a trump to take the diamond finesse. If West wins the ♣A, however, you’ll know that East must have started with the ♦;K to open. Therefore, you’ll play the ♦;A and the ♦;Q, pitching a heart if East doesn’t cover. If he does cover, you’ll ruff, return to dummy and pitch a heart on the ♦;J.

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

The Zoom Room will be closed from November 22-24 in observance of US Thanksgiving.

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at membership@acbl.org.

Join Zoom Chat