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Silvio Sbarigia’s quiz # 18th: Farewell, Elizabeth!

Posted on 24 March 2011

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In the movie “Last time I saw Paris” (by Richard Brooks, 1954), Elizabeth Taylor betrays the husband, Van Johnson, which becomes alcoholic. Repented, a night she comes back at home; he sure would forgive her, he still loves her, but he doesn’t hear her knocking: he’s sleeping, drunk. Elizabeth stays all the night outdoor, without a shelter, and the snow falls. She’ll die some days later by pneumonia.

Silvio Sbarigia’s quiz 18th: “Farewell, Elizabeth”

North (dummy): ♠ AJ6 A875 A6 ♣10872

South (declarer): ♠ K10983 K94 KJ8 ♣65

North opened 1♣, South responded 1♠, West doubled, North passed, East bid 2, and the line N-S went to 4♠. West led ♣A, then the king and the queen. East always responses.

 There are two tricks in diamond, one more ruffing by dummy, and two in heart; need five by spades. The trump queen is in East, probably, and probably fourth, then we cannot ruff the diamond and finesse it twice, as it should need; luckily, there is a plan that doesn’t call for finesse. We just must ruff three times by declarer: two clubs – easy to do it – and an heart, not easy to see how do it. For the third ruff need to throw in somebody, but the timing, that is the order in making things, must be accurate, otherwise we’ll be in the wrong side of the door, as happened to Elizabeth in the movie.

Ruff the third club, then heart to ace and hearth back to king: ace first then king, not the inverse. Now it’s diamond time; now, not before. Ace, king and ruff, ending in dummy. Clubs for ruff, and hearth throwing in somebody: whoever takes, has after to give a safe finessing, direct or by ruff. (In the diagram there are two examples of how the cards could be, with East holding ♠Q742 or ♠Q74 and J.)

Heart from South, the throwing in trick.

Dummy

♠A J

7 5

♣—

West

♠5

Q

Q

♣J

East

♠Q74[2]

[J or void]

♣—

Declarer

♠K 10 9

9

♣—

 

If we make the mistake to invert the playing of diamond and hearth, all looks the same, but it’s easy to see that we must also invert the order of heart playing, first king, for finishing in dummy. It ensues that if East started with singleton hearth, he’ll ruff the ace instead of a douce.

***

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