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1

North
J 9
A Q J 8 4
J 10 4
Q J 3
West
Q 8 6 4 3 2
3
K 3
10 6 4 2

WEST   NORTH   EAST   SOUTH

                                            2NT 1

Pass       3 2    Pass        4    

Pass         6     All Pass

1 20-22

2 transfer

You lead the four of spades, covered by the nine, king and ace. Declarer cashes the ace-king of hearts and three top clubs, East following each time. Then comes to the ten of spades to your queen (seven from East). What do you lead next?

2

North
K J 9 6
A 5
A K Q 6
Q 7 5
West
A 7 4
K Q 10 8
7 3 2
10 8 4

WEST   NORTH   EAST   SOUTH

     Pass     1     Pass     1

     Pass     4     All Pass     

You lead the king of hearts. The ace wins and partner plays the two (discouraging). A heart comes back to the four, nine and ten. You exit with a low trump, won by the ten. Then comes a second round of trumps, to which East follows again. What do you do? 

SOLUTIONS TO TEST YOUR DEFENCE with Julian Pottage 

1

North
J 9
A Q J 8 4
J 10 4
Q J 3
West
Q 8 6 4 3 2      
3          
K3        
10 6 4 2
East
K 7
6 2
9 8 7 6 5 2
9 7 5
South
A 10 5
K 10 9 7 5
A Q 
A K 8

The original West switched to the king of diamonds. This was not a success.

‘Why did you do that?’ East enquired.

‘I was trying to make things easy for you if you had the queen. It looked like either black suit would be giving a ruff and discard, so I didn’t think I had any choice.’

‘”Didn’t think” seem to be the operative words, more like. While it’s true I could have had K-7-5 of spades when a spade exit would have given a ruff and discard, you should have done some counting. South does have to have thirteen cards you know.’

‘No need to be like that. Perhaps I did get it wrong. If South were 2=5=3=3 as I thought, I could afford to give a ruff and discard.’

‘Yes, and as it was, when he was just trying to bamboozle us, the spade was safe too.

2

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

At the table, West played back a trump. The declarer won in hand, trumped a heart and played four rounds of diamonds, throwing two clubs from hand. With nothing but clubs left, East had to give a trick to the queen. 

North smiled, ‘Well played.’ 

‘Thank you, I knew from West’s initial pass that the king was over the queen. That’s why I played it as I did.’

‘Pity the defence wasn’t as good as the play,’ East observed wryly. ‘That third round of round of trumps was a total disaster. I had to throw my exit card in hearts.’ 

‘Can’t declarer play a third spade anyway?’ West retorted.

‘Yes he could – you needed to switch to a low club. I did play the four of hearts on the second round of the suit trying to tell you I had something in clubs. So long as you have 10-9-x or 10-8-x, we can afford to play the suit once.’

This column has been printed here with permission from Bridge Magazine