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Sbarigia’s Quiz # 12 – The inept climber

Posted on 10 June 2010

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Again! Here is the new quiz by Silvio Sbariga. As usual we will publish the solution into few days. In the meanwhile have fun and … mind the title.



Auction: (* Undisciplined pre-empt).

South West North East

2NT Pass 3NT All pass


 West leads ♣4. We take by ace, of course.







East (we)





Make your plan. 





We start to climb a mountain with the necessary in the bag. When the effort becomes overwhelming, the ponder slows down our pace and the storm could catch us grasping the face. We must lighten the burden: what earlier looked vital becomes a deadly ballast. Cast off it!

We must note that West, our partner, must have a very poor hand, with one or none entry. This notwithstanding, he has lead for himself, ignoring our opening suit; this means that he’s void in it, then the Declarer has AK4.

The declarer has a club stopper (otherwise he’s set), and, for the same reason and for his 2NT overcalling, he has the ace and the king of spades. So, we count five tricks for him and the core question becomes: what about diamonds? Our only hope to defeat the contract is that our partner has a stop in diamond that could also be an entry. Then:


♣A and club, jack from declarer, the partner wins by the king and plays club again. We now throw out the useless diamond king; the declarer wins the trick, but the club suit is established: if the partner had started with Jxx the contract is set.


3 (communicating card)

8 (menace)

x (squeeze card)





KJ (two card menace)

2 (idle card)




West (the inept climber)

Q6 (busy suit)

Q (busy suit)




This deal has been played in a MPs tourney. East, the inept climber, held on his tin plate treasure, discarding an heart on the third club, instead of the diamond king. The declarer won the trick by the queen, played spade for Dummy’s king and, from dummy, he played a diamond. East played his stiff king…and won the trick! He played heart, the Declarer won by king and played his winning diamonds, coming into this final: an automatic simple squeeze for an overtrick (in MPs). On the diamond (the squeeze card), the dummy can discard the heart (the idle card), but West hasn’t idle cards: all are busy, being squeezed.





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SILVIO SBARIGIA is a pharmacist; he was born in Rome and lives there. He has won the European championship in 1975 with legendary Blue Team, runner up at 1974’s and at Olympic games of 1976.  Sbarigia is member of Neapolitan Club Technical Commettee. His bridge problems aren’t difficult; just we need to think on a plan and to avoid the instinctive playing. Bridge quizzes by Sbarigia »

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