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Subj:     Bridge Challenge #27 (S541c)
          From Chapter 7 - "Dummy Play", page 88

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

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1.
. A x x
A x
Q J x x
K x x x
 
K x x x
K x
A 10 9
Q J 10 x

West, who had opened the bidding with Three Hearts, leads the Queen of Hearts against Three No-Trumps.
     A. Where do you take the trick?
     B. What card do you play to the second trick?
 

2.
. x x x
A K x x x
A x x
K x
 
K Q x
J 10 x
K x x x
A x x

West leads a small Spade against Three No-Trumps by South and East plays the Jack.  What card should South play?
 

3.
. x x x
A J 10 9 x
A x x
K x
 
K Q x
K x x
K x x x
A x x

Same lead and contract as in Problem 2.
     A. Sitting South, do you win the first trick?
     B. What do you do when you gain the lead?
 

4. West leads a Spade against Three No-Trump.
 
. Q J x
K Q J 10 x
x x x
x x
 
A x x
x
A x x x x
A K Q x

What card do you play from dummy to the first trick?
 

5. West leads a Heart against Three No-Trump and East plays the Queen.
 
. K J x x
_
A J 10 x x
Q 8 x x
 
A x
A K 4 3 2
Q 9 x
K 10 9

     A. Do you hold up or not?
     B. What card do you play after winning your first trick?

6. The contract is Two No-Trump.
 
. A x x
x x
A J 9 7 4 2
x x
  ..
J 10 x
A x x
K 8 6 5
K J 9

West leads a Heart in response to his partner's bid.  What card do you play from your hand when you gain the lead.

Answers.

1A. Dummy.
1B. A Diamond, finessing against the King.  If the King of Diamonds is with East, you are safe.  But if West has it, the lead will be lost twice.  Should West hold both the King of Diamonds and the Club Ace, the contract is doomed.  But if East has the Ace of Clubs, he may not have a third Heart to return, when he gains the lead.

2. Small.  The Heart finesse must be taken into East's hand.  If he has three Spades, West cannot have enough to worry you.  If East has a doubleton and returns a Spade at trick two, he will not have another to put West in should he later gain the lead with the Queen of Hearts.

3A. Yes.
3B. A small club or Diamond to dummy, followed by the Jack of Hearts.  Unless covered, run it.  The contract cannot be beaten, so long as declarer does not allow East to gain the lead.  But it would be careless to play the Ace of Hearts first.  If East holds Q x x x, declarer must finesse twice; otherwise he will make three Heart tricks only, and that is not enough.  If the Heart Jack wins, declarer runs the ten.

4. A small Spade.  Dummy's Spade honours guarantee an entry to the Hearts, so long as the Q J are retained intact.  Declarer wins the first with the Ace and drives out the Ace of Hearts.

5A. Hold up once.
5B. A Club.
The Diamond finesse can be delayed, because it will be taken into East's hand.  But West, the DANGEROUS opponent, may have the Club Ace, and it must be removed first.  The hold-up on the first round makes certain that, unless the Hearts break 4-4, East will not have one to play back, it he gains the lead with the King of Diamonds.

6. The King of Diamonds.  If East has Q 10 x of Diamonds, you can do nothing about it.  But if West has that holding, East will show out on the first round, and the Queen can be finessed.  The question of keeping out the DANGEROUS opponent does not arise.
 

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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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