..........(cf,md4,7)
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Subj: Watson's Bridge Challenges

        From the book
        "Watson the Play of the Hand at Bridge"
        Published in 1959 by HarperResource

Louis H. Watson is one of the first and foremost authorities  on bridge. "Watson's the Play of the Hand" is regarded as the best exposition of playing strategy. 

Water color picture from DoganArt.com....

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Topics
Drawing from GreatBridgeLinks.com

 #1 - Chapter 9
 #2 - Chapter 10 to 14
 #3 - Chapter 15 to 17
 #4 - Chapter 18
 #5 - Chapter 19
 #6 - Chapters 20 to 21

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Subj: Watson's Bridge Challenge #1, Chapter 9 (S549c)
 

1. Chapter IX, Page 79 - Should Dummy play High or Low in the Second Hand?

The contract is in no-trump and West leads a low Spade.  Which card should dummy play with each of the following four Spade suits?  How should South handle these Spade suits to take the most tricks?
 
. No. 1
.
No. 2
.
No. 3
.
No. 4
.
Q 8 Q 8 5 Q 10 5 Q 10 9
 
A 7 3 A 7 3 A 7 3 A 7 3
.
.

..
2. Chapter IX, Page 81 - Should Dummy play High or Low in the Second Hand?

The contract is in no-trump and West leads a low Diamond.  Which card should dummy play with each of the following three Diamond suits?  How should South handle these Diamond suits ti take the most tricks?
 
. No. 1
.
No. 2
.
No. 3
.
Q 8 5 Q 8 Q 10 5
 
K 7 3 K 7 3 K 7 3
.
.

 

3. Chapter IX, Page 76 - When not to Hold-up

West leads the four of Spades against your three no-trump contract.  What do you play from dummy?  If East covers, do you play your Ace?.  What do you do next?
 
. 9 3
K 7 5
Q J 10 7 3
A J 5
K Q 7 4.
Q 6 4...
A 5.....
Q 10 7 3
J 6 5
10 9 8 3
K 6 2
9 8 4
A 10 8 2
A J 2
9 8 4
K 6 2
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.

 

4. Chapter IX, Page 83 - A Hold-up in a Suit with Two Stoppers

When playing a hand in no-trump, South needs to keep some measure of control if the suit West attacks in his opening lead until he has set up enough sure tricks to make his contract.  In the next hand West leads the ten of Hearts, and the contract is three no-trump.  How do you play the hand?
 
. 8 6 3
A 6 2
J 10 9 8 3
A K
J 10 5 4..
Q 10 9 8 5
A 5.......
7 6.......
Q 9 7
J 7
K 4 2
Q J 10 8 5
A K 2
K 4 3
Q 7 6
9 4 3 2

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

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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #2, Chapters 10 to 14 (S550c)
 

1. Chapter X, Page 92 - Unblocking by Discarding

Quite often a lowly ten, nine, or eight may be a position to choke an otherwise vital suit to death.  The declarer must prevent himself from being marooned in the wrong hand.

West opening lead is the Jack of Spades, and Souths contract is three no-trump.
How can you possibly make this contract?
 
. 8 7 5
9 2
A K 8 7 4 3
8 4
J 10 9 6
K J 5 3.
Q 6.....
Q 6 3...
K Q 2
Q 8 7 6
J 5
K 10 9 2
A 4 3
A 10 4
10 9 2
A J 7 5


 

2. Chapter XI, Page 105 - Ducking by Rufusing a Finesse

One rather unusual type of ducking play involves the deliberate refusal of a finesse.  Let's say that West's opening lead against your three no-trump contract is the four of Diamonds.  How should you play this hand?
 
. A 8 7 6 4
7 3 2
9 8
10 6 4
K 10 5....
10 9 6....
J 10 5 4 2
K J.......
9 3
Q J 8 4
A 7 6
Q 8 5 2
Q J 2
A K 5
K Q 3
A 9 7 3


 

3. Chapter XIII, Page 124 - A new type of Finesse

To finesse when holding three honors - two in one hand and one in the other - first lead up to the single honor, keeping intact the tenace position with the double honors.

Consider the following two situations.  If you have no knowledge of where the Ace and Jack are, and can lead from either hand, how should these Diamond suits be played?
 
. No. 1 No. 2
K 5 2 K 9 2
 
Q 10 3 Q 10 3


 

4. Chapter XIII, Page 125 - Unblocking the Trump Suit

The contract is five diamonds, and West leads the thr5ee of Spades.  How should you play this hand?
 
. 7 6 4 2
3 2
A 4
9 8 7 6 2
3.........
Q 10 9 8 7
8 7 5 3...
Q J 3.....
J 10 9 8 5
J 6 4
6 2
A K 10
A K Q
A K 5
K Q J 10 9
5 4


 

5. Chapter XIV, Page 131 - Postponing the Trump Lead for a Special Discard

The contract is four Spades and West leads the Queen of Hearts which you win with your Ace.  You appear to have four losers, 1 Spade, 2 Hearts and 1 Club.
The last Club loser can be ruffed in the dummy.  Should you play three Diamonds in the hope of discarding a Heart or a Club.  Or should you lead trump, knowing that East will surely take the two immediate Hearts, and discard a Club later on the Diamond.  What do you do at the second trick?
 
 
 
. Q 9 8 3
7 5 3
K Q 9 4
7 6
5 4.....
Q J 10 4
6 5 2...
K J 8 3.
A 6
K 9 8
J 10 8 3
Q 10 5 4
K J 10 7 2
A 6 2
A 7
A 9 2


 

6. Chapter XIV, Page 133 Another Way of Taking Discards before Leading Trumps

The contract is four Spades and West leads the Queen of Clubs.  Do you lead trumps, or is there other buisness to do first?
 
. 7 6 5 3
K Q 8
A 6 2
9 8 3
A K.....
10 9 4 3
10 8 5..
Q J 10 4
4 2
A 7 6 5
J 9 7 3
7 6 5
Q J 10 9 8
J 2
K Q 4
A K 2

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

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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #3, Chapters 15 to 17 (S551c)
 
 

1. Chapter XV, Page 144 - Gaining Tricks By Refusing To Ruff

Your contract is four hearts, against which West opens the Spade King, holding the trick.  Your left-hand opponent continues with the Queen, and then the Ace.
On the third round you can ruff with a low heart, but before you do so, look over the situation and decide on a plan.
 
. 8 6 3
Q J 6
A K Q J 9
7 3
A K Q 10
9 8 5 2.
8 6.....
Q 10 2..
J 9 4 2
4 3
10 7 4
K J 9 5
7 5
A K 10 7
5 3 2
A 8 6 4
.
.

 

2. Chapter XV, Page 145 - Is Declarer Or Dummy The Dominate Hand?

West opens the Diamond King against your four Spades contract.  But as soon as West sees the Diamond strength in the dummy, he naturally shifts to something else for his second lead, realizing that declarer can very likely ruff a second round of Diamonds.  Suppose he now leads a Club (his best lead), which you win with your Ace.  Develope your strategy to make your contract.
 
. Q 10 3
A 7 5
Q J 10 9 4
8 5
7 6 2..
K J 9..
A K 8 3
K Q 10.
8 5
10 8 4 2
6 5 2
J 9 7 6
A K J 9 4
Q 6 3
7
A 4 3 2
.
.

 

3. Chapter XVI, Page 153 - Another Exception To The Rule

You are playing a contract of four Hearts.  West's opening lead is the Spade King.  He follows on the second trick with the Spade Ace, which you trump in your hand.  You have left six trumps in your two hands and the opponents also have six.  When you lead out the Ace and King, the opponents follow both times.  This means that you have two trumps, and the opponents also have two - but the pair held by the opponents are both higher than your trumps.  Develope a plan and compare your answer to Watson's solution.
 
. 9 4 2
5 3
A K J 8 2
A Q 3
A K 7 6.
Q J 10 8
9 5.....
6 4 2...
Q J 10 8 3
4 2
10 7 6
10 9 8
5
A K 9 7 6
Q 4 3
K J 7 5
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4. Chapter XVII - Elementary Defense Against No-Trump
   Page 168 - Choosing Between Two Long Suits To Lead

When you have a choice of opening lead, between two suits of some length, you should choose the longer suit except when the shorter suit offers an honor- sequence length lead.  What should you lead in these two hands?
 
. No. 1 No. 2
K J 8 6
J 8 7 6 3
Q 5
10 3
Q J 10 9
Q 9 8 4 3
Q 5
10 3
.
.

 

5. Chapter XVII - Elementary Defense Against No-Trump
   Page 168 - Choosing Between Two Long Suits To Lead

When the choice is between two plain length leads, the decision is more difficult.  As a general rule, the weaker of two four-card suits should be prefered, because this enables the stronger suit to be retained to furnish a possible entry.    What should you lead in each of these three hands?
 
. No. 1 No. 2 No. 3
A 10 3 2
K 9 3 2
J 5 2
10 3
K 10 6 4
Q 5
J 9 8 3
9 7 3
10 7 3
J 4
Q 9 7 3
10 7 6 4
.
.

 

6. Chapter XVII - Elementary Defense Against No-Trump
   Page 168 - Short-suit Sequence Lead:

The so-called short-suit sequence lead consists of the lead of the top card of a sequence from a three-card or shorter suit.  This lead has two objectives: 1. the hope that this particular suit will turn out to be partners long suit and that he will be able to develope it before the declarer can establish his suit; 2. the desire to avoid leading from tenace combinations since to do so may give the declarer tricks he would not otherwise make.  What should you lead in each of these seven hands?
 
No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7
K J 8 5
J 10 3
Q 10 7 5
K J
K J 8 5
Q J 2
Q 10 7 5
K J
K J 8 5
10 9 2
Q 10 7 5
K J
K J 8 5
Q J
Q 10 7 5
K J 2
K J 8 5
J 10
Q 10 7 5
K J 2
K J 8 5
10 9
Q 10 7 5
K J 2
K J 8 5
K Q
Q 10 7 5
K J 2
.
.
Figure out a strategy and then click 'HERE' for Watson's's solution.
 

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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #4, Chapters 18 (S552c)
          Third Hand Defense Against No-Trump
 

..
1. Chapter XVIII, Page 176 - The Rule of Eleven

Whenever partner's opening lead against no-trump is obviously a plain lenght lead and your (third hand's) highest cards are not in sequence, you should play your highest if dummy has no more than three cards of which the highest is the Ten or lower.
 
. 10 8 7
Lead  4
Q 9 6
.
Partner lead the four of Hearts, on which the seven is played from dummy.  You are East, what card should you play?
 


 

2. Chapter XVIII, Page 177 - When third hand's "Highest" is in
.............................in Sequence With the Card Below it:

If you have two or more high cards of partner's led suit, and these are in sequence, you should NOT play the highest card, but the lowest card of the sequence.
 
. 9 8 7
K 5 3 2

Lead  2

Q J 6
A 10 4
.
Your partner leads the deuce of Diamonds against no-trump.  The seven is played from dummy, what card should you play?
 


 

3. Chapter XVIII, Page 178 - When third hand's "Highest" is in
.............................in Sequence With the Card Below it:

This conventional play of the bottom card of a sequence is of the utmost importance.  Never depart from it.  Since your cards in sequence are of equal value, the card you play can make no difference to you, but it makes a vast difference to your partner - so play the bottom one.  This applies to any number of cards, no matter how many cards heading the suit are in sequence.
 
. 7 3 2
Lead  4
J 10 9 8
.
Your partner leads the four of Diamonds against no-trump.  The seven is played from dummy, what card should you play?
 


 

4. Chapter XVIII, Page 179 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"
 
 
. Q 7 5
Lead  4
K J 10
.
Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?
 


 

5. Chapter XVIII, Page 180 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"
 
 
. Q 7 3
Lead  4
K 8 2
.
Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?
 


 

6. Chapter XVIII, Page 181 - When Not to Play "Third Hand High"
 
 
. Q 7 3
9 8 5 4

Lead  4

K 10 2
A J 6
.
Your partner leads the four of Hearts against no-trump.  The three is played from dummy, what card should you play?
 

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

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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #5, Chapters 19 (S554c)
          Elementary Defense After The First Trick

..
1. Chapter XIX, Page 189 - Holding Up In Defensive Play

Just as Declarer holds up in a No_Trump contract to shut off communication between the two defending hands, the defensive player can hold-up to shut off communication between the Declarer's hand and the dummy.

Against South's three no-trump contract, West opened with the five of Spades.  (He might have led the Spade ten, but here the choice was unimportant.)  You play the King (third hand high), and Declarer wins with his Ace.  Now Declarer must first attempt to set up dummy's Clubs, and leads the Ten from his hand.  West plays the seven of Clubs, and the dummy plays the five.  How should East play his three Clubs?
 
. 7 6
9 5 2
10 9 6
K Q J 9 5
10 9 8 5 3
Q J 8.....
Q 5 4.....
7 6.......
K J 2
K 6 3
J 8 3 2
A 8 2
A Q 4
A 10 7 4
A K 7
10 4 3
.


 

2. Chapter XIX, Page 190 - Holding Up In Defensive Play
 

Again, South's contract is three no-trump.  Again, West opened with the five of Spades.  Again, you play the King, and Declarer wins with his Ace.  Again, Declarer first attempts to set up dummy's Clubs, and leads the six from his hand.  West played the two of Clubs, and dummy plays the Queen.  How should East play his Clubs?
 
. 7 6
A 5 2
10 9 6
K Q 8 7 5
10 9 8 5 3
Q J 8.....
Q 5.......
J 10 2....
K J 2
K 6 3
J 8 4 3 2
A 9
A Q 4
10 9 7 4
A K 7
6 4 3
.


 

3. Chapter XIX, Page 191 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

West leads the six of Clubs against Souths' no-trump contract, and the dummy plays the King.  How should East play his Clubs?
 
. A K 3
10 8 7 6 4
Q J 2
9 5
.


 

4. Chapter XIX, Page 191 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

In No. 1, the contract is three no-trump in the South, and West leads the Queen.  How do you play your two Hearts?

In No. 2, West leads the Jack.  How do you play your two Hearts?
 
. No. 1
.
No. 2
.
Q J 10 8 2
A 5
or
K 5
J 10 9 6 3
Q 4
or
K 4
.


 

5.  Chapter XIX, Page 192 - Unblocking In Defensive Play

The contract is three no-trump in the South, and West leads the Queen.  Dummy plays a low card.  How do you play your two Hearts?
 
. 9 8 3 2
Q J 10 6 4
K 5
A 7
.


 

6. Chapter XIX, Page 192 - Ducking In Defensive Play

In defensive play, the use of the ducking strategy is usually confined to the hand of the opening leader.  The purpose of the play is either to leave an entry card in partner's hand (when the leader's hand lacks an entry) or to establish a tenace position over the declarer.

You are West who opens the hand by leading the six of Hearts against South's three no-trump contract.  Dummy plays the five, and partner plays the Ace.  This wins the trick while declarer plays the four of Hearts.  At the second trick, East leads the ten, which immediately lets you know that he did not originally hold four hearts, and also locates the Queen and Jack in declaer's hand.  When Declarer covers the ten with his Jack, what should you do?
 
. J 8 7
9 5
A 8 7 6
10 9 8 7
9 5 4....
K 8 7 6 3
4 3......
J 4 2....
10 6 3 2
A 10 2
K 9 5
K Q 6
A K Q
Q J 4
Q J 10 2
A 5 3
.
 

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

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                           -(o o)- 
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Subj:.....Watson's Bridge Challenge #6, Chapters 20 to 21 (S555c)
          Chapter 20 - Defensive Discards
          and
          Chapter 21 - Defensive Plays by Second Hand

..
1. Chapter XX, Page 200 - Defensive Discards

There are three types of discard signals:
     1. discouraging discards
     2. encouraging discards
     3. temporizing discards.

Joseph Elwell invented an encouraging signal called an echo.  If you want your partner to continue a suit, discard high and then low in the suit.

Whenever you are the Opening Leader, you should watch your Partner's first card very carefully.  If there seems to be at least two cards lower than the one played, which are not visible, it is best for you to believe that your Partner intends to encourage you.  If there is but one lower card missing, you must be wary and suspicious.

South is playing a no-trump contract, and West leads the Jack of Hearts.  What card should you discard?
 
. 5
J 10 8 7 6
Q 4 3 2
A K 9
.


 

2. Chapter XX, Page 204 - Defensive Discards
 

Your partner, West, opens the King of Diamonds against South's no-trump contract.  A low card is played from dummy.  As East, what card should you discard?
 
. A 3 2
K Q 10 5
J 9 8 4
J 6
.


 

3. Chapter XX, Page 205 - Defensive Discards

Declarer leads low from dummy (North) with the intention of playing his King.  On dummy's six of Spades, what card should East play?
 
. Q 10 6
A 8 4
J 9 3 2
K 7 5
.


 

4. Chapter XXI, Page 211 - Defensive Plays by Second Hand

The defensive play of Second Hand resolves itself into two categories;
1. the proper defensive plays when one is playing before the Dummy, and
2. the proper defensive plays when one is playing before the Declarer.

Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

Play low Second Hand unless there is some good reason for doing otherwise.

Declarer (South) leads the six-spot.  What card should West play?
 
. K 7 3 2
A J 5
10 8 4
Q 9 6
.


 

5.  Chapter XXI, Page 213 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

A defensive player should almost never try to win a trick which does not contain some honor originally belonging to either Declarer or Dummy.

South leads the five of Diamonds.  What card should West play?
 
. A Q 10 2
K J 9
6 4 3
8 7 5
..


 

6. Chapter XXI, Page 213 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

South leads the two of Diamonds.  What card should West play?
 
. A 10 3
Q J 7
8 6 5
K 9 4 2
.


 

7. Chapter XXI, Page 214 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

South leads the four of Diamonds.  What card should West play?
 
. A 8 3 2
Q J 7
K
10 9 6 5 4
.


 

8. Chapter XXI, Page 214 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

South leads the two of Clubs.  What card should West play?
 
. A K 10
Q J 7
2 led
.


 

9. Chapter XXI, Page 215 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

When Declarer leads low and Dummy lacks any high cards, Second Hand's decision becomes a matter of common sense.  Ask yourself whether you want the lead or you wish your Partner to have it.  If you want Partner to lead, you naturally play low and hope that Partner can overtake the dummy.

Declarer leads the six of Spades.  What card should you play?
 
. 10 2
Q 9 5
K 4 3
A J 8 7 6
.


 

10. Chapter XXI, Page 216 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

Covering an honor with an honor, in the Second Hand position, will very often prove to be the best play.

Declarer leads the Queen of Hearts.  What card should you play?
 
. A 7 5
K 9 2
Q led
.


 

11. Chapter XXI, Page 218 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

Usually it is good to cover the Jack with the Queen whenever Dummy holds two dangerous cards, but to refrain from covering whenever the Dummy holds but one threatening card.

Declarer leads the Jack of Spades.  What card should you play?
 
. A 5 4 3
Q 8 7
K 9 6
J 10 2
.


 

12. Chapter XXI, Page 219 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

The Jack lead should always be covered with Second Hand's Queen whenever it is apparent that, by not covering, Second Hand is extablishing a tenace in Dummy against the Defending Side.

Declarer leads the Jack of Diamonds.  What card should you play?
 
. A 10 2
Q 8 3
K 9 6 4
J 7 5
.


 

13. Chapter XXI, Page 220 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

Sometimes Second Hand must cover even a Ten to try to establish a tenace position in Partner's hand.

Declarer leads the Ten of Hearts.  What card should you play?
 
. A J 2
Q 7 5
K 9 8 6
10 4 3
.


 

14. Chapter XXI, Page 221 - Playing Defensively Before the Dummy

An exception to this method of covering occurs when Second Hand's King must be good anyway.

Declarer leads the Ten of Hearts.  What card should you play?
 
. A 7
K 5 4 3
Q led
.


 

15. Chapter XXI, Page 221 - Playing Defensively Before the Declarer

The general rule is that, unless you hold many cards of the suit led, you should always cover any bare honor led from the Dummy.  However, when the Dummy holds a sequence of two honors, and one of these is led, you must practically never cover.

If the Queen is led in No. 1, or the Jack in No. 2, what card should you play?
 
. No. 1
.
No. 2
.
Q J 8 J 10 8
  K 4 3   K 4 3
.

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

¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»§«¤
 

Louis H. Watson's "The Play of the Hand at Bridge" is the definitive work on how to play the hands in bridge.  It should be bought and read by all serious bridge players.
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