Luise Lee

Stumped again…

I’m having trouble again.   I keep looking, and looking at this hand, but no matter how many different ways I try to play out the cards, I still only end up with nine tricks!  I’m really trying hard to resist the urge to peek at the answer, but it’s getting increasingly difficult with each failed attempt.

I’m sure as soon as I figure it out, I’ll be like “Doh!  It’s so obvious!”.  Still, I struggle on…

West leads the K into your 4  contract.  No clues from the bidding were offered by your opponents.

 6 5 4
 A 8 7
 J 3 2
 6 5 4 3
 A 3 2
 K Q J 10 9
 A Q
 A K 2

 What is your plan?


Luise LeeMay 20th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Haha, I knew it… As soon as I clicked “Publish post” the solution came me. And I was right, I knew I would have a “Doh!” moment!

I’m so glad I resisted the urge to peek this time. It feels great to work out the solution on my own!

MichaelMay 20th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I will try for 1 spade, 5 hearts, 2 diamonds and 2 clubs, that will be 10 tricks.

So win the Ace of spade and play Ace and Queen of diamond. Win the return, play three rounds of trumps ending in dummy with Ace of heart and take the jack of diamond.

Chris HasneyMay 21st, 2009 at 1:12 am

Way to go!

Ulrich NellMay 21st, 2009 at 2:06 am

Playing either clubs for 3-3 or a successful diamond finesse gives me about 60% chance of success, but I suspect winning AS, drawing rwo rounds of trumps with K-Q, and laying down AQ off diamonds to set up the J is better…

Anony fussMay 21st, 2009 at 2:15 am

Win the spade A and play the DQ to establish the DJ for a discard.

This is superior to playing DA and then DQ, as your DJ might be ruffed out if someone holds a doubleton diamond.

lindaMay 21st, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Glad you got it. If you follow the system I try to use with students it works pretty well on this hand. You count your losers… woops one too many. Can I trump or discard one of the losers? Yep. The finesse is there to distract.

Chris HasneyMay 21st, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Whoops, maybe I didn’t get it. Looked to me like you have to hook the diamond queen at trick two to set up the Jack for a club pitch later on, losing two spades and a diamond. Is that not right?

Anony FulssMay 25th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

If you expect only comments from your “clique”, you should disallow comments on the sites.

If you are expecting to see a name, I don’t see how that even helps you.

Thanks to you, I have one less blog to read. Bye.

Luise LeeJune 15th, 2009 at 10:38 am

I apologize, Anony — My blog site was refusing comments for some reason — this was not my intent. I have corrected the problem.

Thanks for all your comments! It makes me feel better that I wasn’t alone in thinking this was a challenging problem. The answer, as I’m sure you’ve all guessed already, was to win the lead with the SA, and immediately lead out the Queen of Diamonds. This caters to a 5-2 diamond break. The defense must win the K or else 10 tricks will be available. After cashing 2 spade tricks, South can win any return, unblock the Diamond Ace, and draw trumps ending in dummy to take a pitch on the DJ.

Luise LeeJune 15th, 2009 at 10:45 am

Chris, you confused me when you said “hook the diamond Q at trick 2″… Isn’t a “hook” a finesse? You can’t finesse the diamond Queen at trick 2 because you won Trick 1 in hand with the spade Ace. If you cross to the Heart Ace in order to finesse the diamond queen at trick 3, then you would have no way back to dummy to the cash the Diamond Jack when the diamond finesse loses to the king.

Leave a comment

Your comment