ABTA: Home of the American Bridge Teachers' Association

“To help those who teach bridge to do it better, more effectively, more knowledgeably, more professionally.”



Problem 243 for April 2010

 

How should West play Six Spades? North leads a heart.

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

Answer to Prize problem 243

How should West play Six Spades? North leads a heart.

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

Thanks to the seven of clubs the contract can be ensured by an elimination play. Win the heart, ruff a heart high, cross to dummy with a trump, ruff the last heart high, cross back to dummy with a trump and lead a low club. If South plays the five or six of clubs put in the seven to endplay North. If South plays the eight, nine or ten of clubs put on the ace, return to dummy with a third trump and lead a second club. If South again plays a middle club you can cover with the jack and if that finesse loses the remaining K 7 are a tenace with North on lead, endplayed.

Note that even one round of trumps too early puts you at risk.

Non-prize problem for April 2010

How should West play Seven Notrumps? North leads the ten of clubs.

West
Q 9 7 5
A 9 5
A 9 7 2
K 4
East
A K 8 6
K Q J 8 6
K J
A 6

Answer to non-prize problem

How should West play Seven Notrumps? North leads the ten of clubs.

West
Q 9 7 5
A 9 5
A 9 7 2
K 4
East
A K 8 6

K Q J 8 6

K J

A 6

Jeff Meckstroth showed sound technique on this deal from the 1991 Sunday Times Pairs. The key point is to win the lead in dummy as if the spades don’t work you plan to take the diamond finesse and need the king of clubs later as an entry. At trick two he led a high heart from dummy, catering for 5-0 either way (they were not). Then he tried a top spade from dummy.  (A low spade is best when South is void but a high spade gains more frequently as you will not know in time when South has a small singleton.) This proved helpful as North contributed the TEN, and on the next high spade from dummy North showed out. So the marked spade finesse was the thirteenth trick. North held:

North
10 
Q 10 6 5 4 
10 9 8 5 3 2