Sbarigia’s quiz # 9 – The excess cripples

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‘The excess cripples’ is a famous italian proverb. This is title we have chosen for the new quiz. As usual, we’ll publish the solution illustrated by Silvio Sbarigia into few days: have fun and mind the title!

Silvio Sbarigia’s quiz 9th

“The excess cripples”

North (dummy): ♠K3 A96 8754 ♣8532

South (declarer): ♠AQ10765 5 AKQ ♣AK9

Contract: 6♠. West has overcalled 2 and leads K.

Make your playing plan.


The title of this quiz is an Italian proverb. What have we in excess, here? Sure the tricks aren’t, we have twelve, right enough; but if trump break is 4-1, we have a scarcity of tricks (only eleven), and an excess of trumps in declarer’s hand.

We haven’t communications toward the dummy, then the only hope – if the trumps are 4-1 – is to endplay someone, forcing him to lead under J-9 or toward it. Before to concede the endplaying trick we must strip ourselves of any card in excess. Our hope is to find East with a 4-3-3-3 or a 4-3-4-2: if it is, we win against 4-1; if not, none can win.

Win the lead by A, continue heart and ruff, play spade ace and spade for the king – West discards, in facts: never a reasonable break! Ruff another heart: this complete our trump shortening, we have now the same length as East. Now play the three diamond heads and the three clubs: if West wins the third club, we’ll finesse East’s J-9 by ruff; if East take that, is endplayed as we have worked for.


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