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Subj:    Bridge Challenge #26 (S540c)
          From Chapter 6 - "Defence", page 69

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

..
1.
West
Q J 10 X
10 X X X
X
A J X X
West

Pass
Pass

North

2 Diamonds
4 Hearts

East

Pass
All Pass
 

South
1 Heart
2 Hearts

What card do you lead against Four Hearts?
 

2.
West
x x x x x
A x
x x x x
A x
West

Pass
Pass

North
1 NT
3 NT
Pass
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
3 Spades
4 Hearts

What card do you lead against Four Hearts?
 

3.
. K J x x
x x x
A Q x x x
x
 
A x x x x
x x
K x
Q x x x
.
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

2 Diamonds
3 Hearts
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Pass
 

South
1 Heart
2 NT
4 Hearts

West opens the ten of Spades and dummy plays low.  What card should East play?
 

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

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

2 Diamonds
3 Hearts
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Pass
 

South
1 Heart
2 NT
4 Hearts

Same contract, same bidding, and same lead as in Problem #3 above.
The dummy is also the same.
     A. Should East win the first trick?
     B. What line of defense should he adopt?
     C. Assuming the bidding to be correct, is declarer likely to
        make his contract?
 

5.
. A K Q x
x x x
J x x
A Q J
x x x..
10 x x.
A K Q x
K x x..
.
West

Pass
Pass

North
1 Spade
2 NT
Pass
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 Heart
4 Hearts

West leads three top Diamonds to which all follow.
What should he play at trick four?
 

6.
. x x
J x
K Q J 10
  x x x
x x
A x........
A Q x x x x
x x x x....
Q..........
.
West

Pass

North
3 Diamonds
Pass
East
Pass
Pass
South
4 Spades

West opens the Ace of Hearts on which declarer drops the King.
What should West play at trick two?
 

7.
. x x x
J 9 x x
x
A Q J x x
 
Q
x x
J x x x x x
x x x
.
West

Pass
Pass

North

2 Clubs
4 Spades

East

Pass
All Pass

South
1 Spade
3 Spades

West leads the King of Hearts, followed by the Queen and the deuce.
Declarer plays the nine from dummy.  What card should East play?

Answers.

1. Lead the Queen of Spades.  With four trumps it is rarely wise to play for a ruff.  Besides, the Diamond lead may help declarer to set up dummy's suit.  The Spade is both safe and constructive.

2. Lead a small spade.  The bidding shows that South has a two suiter with five Spades, maybe six.  North, who opened a No-Trump, must have at least a doubleton Spade.  It follows that East has one or none.  Having two entries, including the Ace of trumps, West may be able to give his partner two Spade ruffs.

3. Play the Ace.  Declarer has almost certainly Q xx in Spades in view of his bid od Two No-Trumps.  Partner is therefore, marked with a singleton and can ruff a Spade return.

4A. Play the Ace.  This time partner cannot possibly have a singleton, as that would leave five Spades for South.  But East needs an immediate entry because -
4B. he wants to give West a Diamond ruff.  South's Two No-Trumps rebid promises a balanced hand, and that means no singletons.  Therefore, South has two Diamonds and West none.  When he comes in with the Ace of trumps, East will give his partner a second Diamond ruff and -
4C. the contract will be beaten.

5. Lead the thirteenth Diamond.  It is clear that declarer can have no losing Spades, and since the Club King is under the A, Q, J, he has no losing Clubs either.  The only hope is the "Uppercut".  If East can ruff the last Diamond with an honour, West's ten will win a trick eventually.

6. Lead the Queen of Clubs.  Unless South was dealt ten tricks in his own hand, he is almost bound to have A x in Diamonds.  Without a fit, he would not bid Four Spades, since North has promised nothing beyond a string of Diamonds.  If South has two Diamonds, East must have a void.  That suggests a switch to Diamonds at the second trick.  The temptation must be resisted, because East is unlikely to have three trumps, and one Diamond ruff will not beat the contract.  West switches to Clubs, and when he comes in with the Ace of Spades, returns a Diamond.  East ruffs and plays a club for West to ruff.  If, by some chance, East has three trumps afterall, declarer will go down two tricks.

7. Play the Queen of Spades.  West is obviously setting the stage for an "uppercut".  If he has as much as K 10 of Spades, this defense ensures two trump tricks and beats the contract.  Declarer is marked with six Spades, but they may be A J 9 x x x.  Compare this hand with #5 above.
 
 

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

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