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Subj:     Bridge Challenge #28 (S542c)
          From Chapter 8 - "Defence", page 108

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

..
1. The bidding was:
.
West

Pass

North

3 NT

East

All Pass

South
1 NT
.
What do you lead from:
.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
Spades

K J 10 9 x
K J 10 x
A 7 6 4 2
A J 10 9 x
A Q 10 x
A K J x x

Hearts

Q x x
Q x x
Q x x
K J 10 9 x
x x
x x x

Diamonds

J x x x
Q J 10 x
Q J 9 x
x
Q J 10 x
Q x x

Clubs

x
x x
x
x x
x x x
x x

2. Bidding as above.  West opens the Queen of Hearts.
 
. K x x
x x x
Q x x x x
A x
 
J x x
A x
x x x
Q J x x x
.
What do you play, sitting East?
 

3. Bidding as above.  West opens the Jack of Hearts.
 
. K x x
9 8
Q x x x
A x
 
J x x
A 7 2
K x
Q J x x x
.
     A. What should East play to the first trick?
     B. What do you suppose is West's holding in Hearts?
 

4. Bidding
.
West

Pass

North
1 Diamond
3 NT
East
1 Spade
All Pass
South
2 NT
.
West leads the King of Spades.
 
. 9 2
A Q x
K Q J x
Q J x x
 
A 10 8 7 3
J 10 x x x
x
A x
.
     A. What card should East play to the first trick?
     B. If West continues with the Queen of Spades, what
        card should East play to the second Trick?
 

5. The bidding was:
.
West

Pass

North

3 NT

East

All Pass

South
1 NT
.
West leads a small Spade and dummy's Ace wins.
 
. A 6
10 x x x
A J x x
J x x
 
Q 9 5
Q x x
Q 10 x
K 9 x x
.
What card should East play?
 

6. Bidding:
.
West

Pass
Pass

North

1 Diamonds
3 NT

East

Pass
All Pass

South
1 Club
1 NT

West leads the nine of Spades and declarer plays dummy's Ace.
 
. A K 4
Q x
A x x x x
x x x
 
Q 10 2
A J 10 9 x
K x x
x x
.
What card should East play to the first trick?
 

7. The bidding was:
.
West

Pass

North

3 NT

East

All Pass

South
1 NT
.
West leads the four of Diamonds and declarer plays the five from dummy.
 
. J x x
A J x
Q J 5
K x x x
 
K 10 x
Q 10 x
K 8 7
J x x x
.

     A. What should East play?
     B. Assuming that West led a true card, what is declarer's
        most likely honour holding in Diamonds?
 
 

Answers.

1A. Lead the Jack of Spades.  There is a danger of playing into declarer's A Q, but this lead from an interior sequence still offers the best chance to set up enough tricks to break the contract.

1B. Lead the Queen of Diamonds.  This is safe while the Spades are too short to justify the risk, which was worth taking in 1A.

1C. Lead the four of Spades.  It is the natural opening, and with reasonable luck may lead to three tricks in defense.  If the Spade suit contained four cards only, the Diamond lead would be preferable.

1D. Lead the Jack of Spades.  It offers about the same prospects as the Jack of Hearts, but is less risky.  Even if declarer has K Q x of Spades, the lead will not cost a trick.  The same is true if there is a doubleton Spade honour in dummy.  But in Hearts - unless partner has a honour - the lead is more likely to present declarer with a trick.

1E. Lead the Queen of Diamonds.  This is safe, and the suit may develop two tricks.  Let declarer play the Spades himself.  Alternatively, wait for partner to play them.

1F. Lead the King of Spades - the orthodox opening from this combination.  Partner may have a opportunity later to play through declarer into West's tenace.

2. Play the Ace of Hearts.  A small Heart would block the suit.

3A. Play the Ace.

3B. K J 10 x x.  West is missing the nine and the eight and he cannot be leading from J 10 x x.  The fourth highest would be the right lead from such a holding - not the top.  By going up with the Ace, East can play through declarer's Queen.

4A. Play the eight of Spades.

4B. Play the Ace of Spades.  The bidding marks South with J x x x.  East must, therefore, overtake the Queen and clear the suit.  If he does not, he will have only one trick (the Ace of Spades) to cash when he comes in with his Ace of Clubs.  The point to bear in mind is that West cannot have a third Spade.

5. Play the nine.  This will encourage West to continue Spades.  You like Spades and don't want a switch of suits.

6. Play the deuce.  East wants a switch to Hearts, and hopes that West will gain the lead, before his probable Diamond entry is driven out.

7A. Play the seven

7B. The ten.  By applying the Eleven Rule, East can tell that declarer has only one card higher than the four.  With the Ace, declarer would have probably played an honour from dummy.  It is safer, however, for East not to play the King, in case South has the Ace after all.  Playing the King cannot gain, but can lose a trick.
 
 

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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 bridge game

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