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 Subj:   Still 9 More Bridge Challenges   From the book How To Defend A Bridge Hand               by William S. Root               Published in 1994 by               Crown Publishing, Inc., New York See if you can find optimum line of play.   The Bridge Cartoon comes from For Bridge Players
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Subj:     Opening Leads Chapter 1 (S531c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 35

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

 1 West 10 9 8 4 10 6 5 4 2 A 3 K 3 West Pass North 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 NT

 2 West Q J 10 7 Q 6 3 J 4 9 8 4 2 West Pass North 1 Spade 6 NT East Pass All Pass South 2 NT

 3 West K J 2 7 6 9 8 5 3 2 J 10 9 West Pass Pass North 1 Club 3 Clubs 4 Hearts East Pass Pass All Pass South 1 Heart 3 Hearts

 4 West A 3 J 10 9 8 7 6 4 2 A 8 5 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 Diamonds 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Spade 3 Diamonds 4 Spades

 5 West J 5 2 A Q 10 8 Q J 10 9 6 3 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 2 Spades 4 Spades East Pass Pass All Pass South 1 Spade 2 Hearts 3 Hearts

 6 West 10 8 6 3 J 2 A Q 9 8 9 5 4 West Pass North 1 Club 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 2 NT

 7 West Q J 10 3 6 J 7 6 4 Q 10 9 8 West Pass Pass Pass North 1 Diamond 3 Hearts 5 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass Pass Double South 1 Heart 4 NT 6 Hearts All Pass

 8 West K 7 4 5 4 10 9 8 7 3 A 6 2 West Pass Pass Pass Pass North 1 Club 3 Clubs 4 Hearts 5 Diamonds Pass East Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass South 1 Heart 3 Hearts 4 NT 6 Hearts

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE'for William's solution.

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Subj:     More Opening Leads from Chapter 1 (S532c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 5

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

 1 West 8 7 5 2 4 3 A Q J 9 J 8 7 West Pass North 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 NT

 2 West 8 7 5 2 Q 4 3 9 7 6 J 8 7 West Pass North 3 NT East All Pass South 1 NT

 3 West 9 7 5 4 4 3 A Q J 9 J 8 7 West Pass North 3 NT East All Pass South 1 NT

 4 West 9 8 7 5 3 6 5 2 A Q 10 5 4 West Pass North 3 NT East All Pass South 1 NT

 5 West Q 10 7 6 3 9 5 A 8 Q J 10 5 West Pass Pass North 2 NT Pass East Pass Pass South 1 NT 3 NT

 6 West 9 7 2 A 10 4 3 7 4 3 8 6 5 West Pass North 3 NT East All Pass South 1 NT

 7 West 9 7 2 A 10 4 3 7 4 3 8 6 5 West Pass Pass North 1 Club 3 Clubs Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Diamond 3 NT
.

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 8 West 8 5 K 5 2 A 8 5 3 Q 7 6 4 West Pass Pass North 1 Spade 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 Heart 1 NT
.

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 9 West 10 8 6 3 J 2 A Q 10 8 9 5 4 West Pass North 3 NT East All Pass South 1 NT
.

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1 (S533c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 9

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

 1 West Q 9 5 3 6 4 Q 9 7 6 K 10 8 West Pass North 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 NT

 2 West 10 9 7 Q 5 2 10 9 5 8 6 4 3 West Pass Pass Pass North 1 Heart 2 NT Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Club 1 NT 3 NT

 3 West 7 2 J 10 9 8 6 4 3 10 8 7 5 West Pass Pass North 2 NT Pass East Pass Pass South 1 NT 3 NT

 4 West Q 9 8 2 K 10 3 J 7 K 10 6 5 West Pass Pass North 1 Club 1 Spade Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Heart 1 NT

 5 West Q J 10 2 A 5 4 J 10 9 J 8 6 West Pass Pass North 1 Club 1 Spade Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Heart 1 NT

 6 West Q J 9 3 7 4 2 Q J 7 2 A 8 West Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 NT 2 Hearts

 7 West 8 5 Q 10 7 6 3 A 9 2 K 7 4 West Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 NT 2 Hearts
.

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 8 West 7 6 8 7 2 A 5 4 K J 9 6 3 West Pass Pass North 1 Spade 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 Club 2 NT
.

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 9 West 7 6 K J 9 6 3 A 5 4 8 7 2 West Pass Pass North 1 Spade 3 NT East Pass All Pass South 1 Heart 1 NT
.

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 4 (S534c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 11

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

 1 West 7 6 A 9 5 9 8 2 Q J 10 4 3 West Pass Pass North 1 Heart 3 NT East Pass Pass All Pass South 1 Club 1 NT

When your partner has been in the bidding, it is generally right to lead his suit.  Do not be discouraged when one or both opponents bid notrump after his bid.  For example:

 2 West 8 6 3 2 Q 7 4 10 3 J 9 8 2 West Pass North 1 Diamond 3 NT East 1 Heart All Pass South 2 NT

 3 West Q J 10 7 2 9 5 10 9 8 4 8 3 West Pass North 1 Heart 3 NT East 2 Clubs All Pass South 2 NT

 4 West J 10 9 7 5 K 8 2 9 6 3 7 4 West Pass Pass Pass North Pass 2 NT Pass East 1 Club Pass Pass South 1 NT 3 NT

When an Opponent Bids Three Notrump
over his Partner's Preemptive Bid

Lead from strength, rather than length.  For example:

 5 West Q J 10 9 3 8 4 2 A K 6 7 5 West Pass North 3 Clubs Pass East Pass Pass South 3 NT

 6 West A Q 5 J 10 9 7 2 5 Q 6 4 3 West Pass North Pass East Pass South 3 NT

When your opponents bid six or seven notrump, the strategy is to choose the safest lead, the one least likely to give away a trick.  For example:

 7 West K 9 8 7 3 10 4 10 7 5 J 10 2 West Pass North 6 NT East All Pass South 2 NT
.

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 8 West A 10 5 2 10 8 3 6 5 4 8 7 6 West Pass North 6 NT East All Pass South 1 NT
.

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 5 (S535c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 15

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

 1 West 7 6 4 Q J 10 9 8 4 3 9 5 2 West Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 3 NT East Double All Pass South 1 NT 2 Diamonds

 2 West Q 10 7 4 2 7 J 10 9 6 7 5 3 West Pass Pass Pass North 1 Heart 2 NT Pass East Pass Pass Double South 1 Diamond 1 NT 3 NT All Pass

 3 West J 10 9 7 5 K 8 2 9 6 3 7 4 West Pass Pass Pass North Pass 2 NT Pass East 1 Club Pass Double South 1 NT 3 NT All Pass

In the next five deals you are looking for the safest possible lead.

 4 West Q 6 3 Q J 7 K 9 5 2 J 10 9 West Pass Pass North 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Spade 4 Spades

 5 West A J 6 3 Q 9 5 Q 8 4 J 6 2 West Pass North 2 Hearts East All Pass South 1 Heart

 6 West 10 9 8 Q 8 4 A 7 5 2 K 7 3 West Pass North 2 Spades East All Pass South 1 Spade

 7 West 7 Q J 10 9 A 7 5 2 J 6 4 3 West Pass Pass Pass North 1 Heart 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Club 1 Spade 4 Spades
.

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 8 West J 6 Q J 7 4 A J 10 8 Q 9 2 West Pass Pass Pass North 1 Club 1 Heart 3 Spades 4 Spades East Pass Pass Pass All Pass South 1 Diamond 1 Spade 3 NT

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 6 (S536c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 19

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

The next five deals illustrate cases where decisive action must be taken early:

 1 West 7 3 A 9 5 3 10 9 8 K 10 6 2 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 Diamonds 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Spade 2 Spades 4 Spades

 2 West A 7 J 5 4 J 10 9 2 A 8 6 3 West Pass Pass North 1 Club 2 Spade 4 Spades East Pass Pass All Pass South 1 Spade 3 Clubs

 3 West A 4 3 2 K J 9 7 6 8 3 J 8 West Pass Pass North 2 Spade Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Spade 4 Spade

 4 West 7 4 3 A Q 5 2 6 5 J 10 9 8 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Diamond 3 Diamonds 5 Diamonds

 5 West Q 8 5 5 4 3 Q 8 6 A Q J 3 West Pass Pass Pass Pass North 1 Spade 2 Spades 4 Diamonds Pass East Pass Pass Pass Pass South 1 Diamond 2 Hearts 3 Hearts 5 Diamonds

A trump lead may be the way to beat the contract.  For example:

 6 West K J 9 8 A 5 4 7 5 2 J 10 9 West Pass Pass North 1 NT 4 Hearts East Pass All Pass South 1 Spade 3 Hearts

 7 West 8 4 3 J 10 A J 9 5 K 10 7 2 West Pass Pass North 2 Spades 4 Spades East Pass All Pass South 1 Spade 3 NT
.

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 8 West A 6 2 J 10 6 A J Q J 10 9 8 West 3 Clubs 4 Hearts Double North 3 Spades 4 Spades Pass East 1 Heart 4 Diamonds Pass Pass South 2 Spades Pass Pass Pass

.
 9 West A Q 10 7 K Q 9 5 Q 10 8 2 6 West Double North Pass East Pass South 1 Club Pass

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 7 (S537c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 24

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

Leading a singleton is often a good choice because you may gain a trick by ruffing.  But singleton leads are not always good;  they sometimes expose your partner's holding in the suit and help declarer.  The best time to lead a singleton is when you have the right trump holding and there is a good chance that your partner will be able to get th lead and give you the ruff.  The next three illustrations show times when it is inadvisable to lead a singleton.

 1 West 7 K Q 10 10 9 8 5 9 6 4 3 2 West Pass Pass North 3 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 2 West J 10 9 5 A 7 2 8 A Q 7 4 3 West Pass Pass North 3 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 3 West 8 5 2 K Q 9 7 4 K 10 6 4 3 West Pass Pass North 2 Spade Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Spade 4 Spade3

 4 West J 10 9 5 A 7 2 8 10 8 7 4 3 West Pass Pass North 3 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 5 West K 4 10 2 10 9 5 2 J 8 7 6 4 West Pass Pass North 3 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 6 West 7 4 3 K J 5 2 8 4 Q 10 9 6 West Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 4 Spades East Pass All Pass South 1 NT 2 Spades

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 8 (S538c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 26

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

Here are five deals on the subject.

 1 West 8 6 5 9 7 3 7 5 4 2 A Q 9 West Pass Pass North 2 Hearts Pass East 2 Spades Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 2 West 8 6 9 7 3 7 5 4 2 A 9 8 2 West Pass Pass North 2 Hearts Pass East 2 Spades Pass South 1 Heart 4 Hearts

 3 West 8 6 3 2 Q 7 4 J 9 8 2 10 3 West Pass North 1 NT 4 Spade East 2 Hearts All Pass South 3 Spades

 4 West 7 5 2 9 6 J 10 7 3 K Q J 4 West 2 Spades Pass North 3 Hearts Pass East 1 Spade Pass Pass South 2 Hearts 4 Hearts

 5 West 10 9 8 7 6 2 Q 9 8 5 4 3 7 West Pass North 4 Hearts East 1 Spade All Pass South 2 Hearts

The opening leader must analyze the bidding and decide whether to make an aggressive lead or a passive lead against a slam.  Here are two illustrations:

 6 West 7 3 2 10 8 7 2 6 4 3 K Q 5 West Pass Pass Pass Pass North 2 Diamonds 4 Spades 5 Diamonds Pass East Pass Pass Pass Pass South 1 Spade 3 Spades 4 NT 6 Spades

 7 West 7 3 2 10 8 7 2 6 4 3 K 5 4 West Pass Pass Pass Pass North 2 Diamonds 4 Spades 5 Diamonds Pass East Pass Pass Pass Pass South 1 Spade 3 Spades 4 NT 6 Spades

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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Subj:     Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 9 (S539c)
From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 30

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.

The opening leader must analyze the bidding and decide whether to make an aggressive lead or a passive lead against a slam.  Here are three more slam illustrations to help you decide when it is right and when it is wrong to lead an ace against a slam:

 1 West J 7 4 6 5 2 A 10 9 3 10 9 8 West Pass Pass Pass North 3 Hearts 5 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 NT 6 Hearts

You should lead an ace, if you have another trick, and if you are reasonably sure your ace will not be ruffed.  For example:

 2 West J 7 4 Q J 2 A 6 5 3 10 9 8 West Pass Pass Pass North 3 Hearts 5 Hearts Pass East Pass Pass Pass South 1 Heart 4 NT 6 Hearts

Underleading an ace versus a trump contract is a losing proposition in the long run.  The following deal is a rare exception; although a gambling lead, it cannot mislead your partner.

 3 West _ 8 6 3 A K Q 4 3 2 9 7 6 5 West 2 Diamonds Pass Pass Pass North 3 Clubs 4 Hearts 5 Diamonds Pass East Pass Pass Pass Pass South 1 Spade 3 Hearts 4 NT 6 Hearts

The double of any artificial bid calls for that suit to be led; it does not matter whether the eventual contract is played in notrump or in a suit.  The most common artificial bids are: a Stayman response to an opening notrump bid, a response to Blackwood or Gerber, a control-showing bid or a transfer bid.  Here are three examples:

 4 West J 10 2 7 4 3 J 8 6 Q J 9 5 West Pass Pass Pass North 3 Hearts 5 Diamonds Pass East Pass Double Pass South 1 Heart 4 NT 6 Hearts

 5 West 9 7 3 10 9 6 5 Q 8 10 7 4 3 West Pass Pass Pass North 3 Spades 4 Diamonds Pass East Pass Double Pass South 1 Spade 4 Clubs 4 Spades

 6 West Q 10 4 7 2 Q 9 6 3 J 10 8 7 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 Hearts 3 NT Pass East Double Pass Pass South 1 NT 2 Spades 4 Spades

Lead-Directing Doubles of Slams Bid in A Suit

If your opponents arrive at a slam in a trump contract and your partner has the opening lead, a douboe calls for an "unusual lead."  For example:

 7 West 7 4 Q 8 7 4 3 2 J 10 9 9 6 West Pass Pass Pass North 2 NT 3 Spades Pass East Pass Pass Double South 1 Spade 3 Hearts 6 Spades All Pass

 8 West 5 3 2 6 3 J 10 7 9 8 7 6 4 West Pass Pass Pass Pass North 2 Clubs 4 Hearts 5 Hearts Pass East 3 Diamonds Pass Pass Double South 1 Spade 3 Hearts 4 NT 6 Hearts All Pass

Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for William's solution.

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I've only shown examples from Chapter 1 of the book "How To Defend A Bridge Hand".  Common decency prevents me from duplicating more of the book.  If you like what you have read, buy the book, and read it.  It will improve your bridge game.
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