Puzzle #17

The Eight of Swords

by Jeff Rubens

 NORTH ♠ A 6 5 2 ♥ 10 9 6 4 ♦ A Q ♣ K 10 9 SOUTH ♠ Q 4 ♥ A K 2 ♦ 10 8 6 4 ♣ A Q 8 2

Contract: Seven notrump by South. The only card West can lead to allow South to make the contract against thereafter perfect defense is the eight of spades.

What are the exact East-West hands?

#### Solution

 NORTH ♠ A 6 5 2 ♥ 10 9 6 4 ♦ A Q ♣ K 10 9 WEST ♠ K 8 3 ♥ 8 7 ♦ K J ♣ J 7 6 5 4 3 EAST ♠ J 10 9 7 ♥ Q J 5 3 ♦ 9 7 5 3 2 ♣ — SOUTH ♠ Q 4 ♥ A K 2 ♦ 10 8 6 4 ♣ A Q 8 2

Declarer takes the opening lead of the eight of spades with the queen, takes a diamond finesse, and leads the tne of hearts form dummy. By returning to dummy's ace of diamonds, leading the nine of hearts to pin the eight, finessing the club nine, cashing high hearts and clubs (all in any reasonable order), declarer reaches this or an equivalent ending:

 NORTH ♠ A 6 5 ♥ 4 ♦ — ♣ — WEST ♠ K 3 ♥ — ♦ — ♣ J 7 EAST ♠ J ♥ 5 ♦ 9 7 ♣ — SOUTH ♠ 4 ♥ — ♦ 10 8 ♣ A

On the lead of the ace of clubs, declarer throws a spade from dummy and East is squeezed. If West's original lead is the spade three, he can protect spades in the ending.