Roman Key Card Blackwood

Problem One

 

CONTRACT: 4H Lead: 5S; LHO has overcalled 2C

 

AJ1062

 

AJ2

 

K75

 

83

 

———

 

43

 

K8764

 

AQ108

 

K10

 

Problem Two

 

CONTRACT: 3NT Lead: 7H

 

65

 

AK2

 

1093

 

QJ1098

 

———–

 

AKQ

 

53

 

Q8754

 

A76

 

 

 

Problem Three

 

CONTRACT: 3NT Lead: QC, overtaken by AC, 8C returned

 

Q4

 

AKQ

 

Q1054

 

7654

 

——–

 

A73

 

762

 

AK76

 

K32

 

 

 

Problem Four

 

CONTRACT: 3NT Lead: 6S

 

Q4

 

KQ953

 

AK3

 

852

 

———

 

K72

 

A8

 

10842

 

AK63

 

Problem Five

 

1043

 

A82

 

KJ10

 

AQ95

 

——–

 

Q73

 

Q9

 

AQ4

 

K7632

 

 

 

Solutions

You need 10 tricks, which will be 5 trumps, 4 diamonds and a spade. Play AS, then heart to the K, another to the J, then cash the A. Now a D to the A and one back to the K. LHO shows out so you can safely finesse the 10 to make your contract.

Win KH, then run the QC. If it holds, DO NOT repeat the finesse – if it lost and a H comes back, you cannot reach your club winners and will go off. Simply play another C to the A and give up a club. You will make 4C, 2H, and 3S to make 3NT.

Duck the second club (they might break 3/3, and it costs nothing to try. This time they don’t, and a club comes back, LHO having four C. Diamonds might provide a ninth trick, but first you must lead towards your QS. If LHO has the K, that gives you 9 tricks, if not you will need D to break kindly. DO NOT play A and K of D first – if you do that, you will have no entry back to your AS later and will go off.

Play the QS, which wins. You need to ensure that if you lose a H trick, it is to the safe hand. Play a H to your 8. If it loses, you need H to break 4-2 (most likely split). If RHO plays 10 or JH when you lead towards your hand, just play H from the top – RHO might have J10x. If RHO had J10xx, then try to duck a C to LHO – lead from dummy and hope RHO plays the 4C.

It looks like a fourth highest lead, in which case your QH will win. But don’t risk it – you have 9 tricks if clubs break 2-2 or 3-1, or 4-0 if you take care. Rise with AH, and lead a club to your K. They break 4-0, but with 4 on your left, so you simply lead towards the AQ9 twice and beat LHO’s card, using diamonds to re-enter your hand. LHO had lead a heart from 76 doubleton, and if you duck, they cash four spade tricks as well as the heart to defeat you.

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