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Subj:    Bridge Challenge #24 (S529c)
         From Chapter 4 - "Defence", page 54

From the book Card Play Technique 
              by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardener 
              Published in 1985 by 
              Faber and Faber

..
1.
. 4 3
x x x
A K x
A Q J x x
K 9 7....
x x......
J x x x x
x x x....

South is in Four Spades.  East has bid Hearts and West leads the top of his doubleton.  East plays the King, Ace, and Queen of Hearts.  Declarer ruffs the third round with the Jack of Spades.  What should West do?
 

2. Same bidding and play as in #1.
 
. A x x
x x x
A K x
A Q J x
K 9 7....
x x......
J x x x x
x x x....

What should West do at trick three?
 

3.
. x x
x x x
A K Q
K Q J x x
K 10 x.
10 x...
x x x x
x x x x

South is in Two Spades.  East has bid Hearts and West leads the ten to his partner's King.  East plays the Ace of Clubs and continues with the Ace and Queen of Hearts.  Declarer ruffs with the Jack.  What should West do?
 

4.
. x
x x x
Q 10 x x
A K x x x
K J 9 8
K x x..
x x....
Q J 9 x

West opens a small trump against Four Hearts.  Declarer wins with the Jack in his hand and plays the Queen of Spades.  Should West cover?
 

5. Biddlig was: 

     SOUTH (dealer)  WEST          NORTH         EAST
     One Spade       Two Clubs     Two Spades    Three Clubs 
     Four Spades     Pass          Pass          Pass

Sitting West, what do you lead from:
.....A.  A K x....................B.  K x x
........ Q x x....................... Q x x
........ x x......................... Q x
........ A K J x x................... A K J x x
 

6. South, dealer, opens Four Hearts and all passed.
What do you lead from:
.....A.  Q 10 x....................B.  Q 10 x
........ Q 10 x x..................... Q J 10 x
........ x............................ x
........ A Q x x x.................... A Q J x x
 
 

Answers.

1. Don'T over-ruff.  The King will take a trick anyway, but if partner turns up with the ten, the K 9 7 combination will take two tricks - so long as West foes not over-ruff.

2. Don't over-ruff.  The position is fundamentally the same as in the previous example.  Though the King is under the Ace, it cannot fail to make a trick now that the Jack is out of the way.

3. Over-ruff.  East's Ace of Clubs is obviously a singleton.  West should give him a ruff.  East will return a fourth Heart, allowing West to over-ruff again with the ten.  If declarer ruffs high, the ten will take a trick later.  The reason for over-ruffing is that West wants to be on play to lead a Club.

4. No.  The next trump lead must come from East, who is marked with the Ace of Spades.

5A. One of the top trumps, intending to lead two more rounds.  Declarer will clearly find ruffing value in dummy and the defense should limit it to as few tricks as possible.  There is a temptation to open the King of Clubs, but it must be resisted.  Dummy may have a void, and if so, the initiative will immediately pass to declarer.

5B.  A small trump.  The reasoning is the same as above.  The bidding shrieks of ruffing value in dummy, and it must be attacked at once.

6A. A small Spade.  The thoughtless lead would be the singleton Diamond.  West does not require a ruff.  He expects to collect two trump tricks, and probably the Ace of Clubs.  To break the contract he needs one more trick, and Spades seem to offer the best chance.

6B. Queen of trumps.  All the same reasons in "A" apply here, but West can safely look at the table before committing himself.  Time is on his side.
 
 

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These are six examples from the book "Card Play Techniques".  Buy the book, 
read it, and rereat it a dozen times.  It will improve your bridge game.

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