ABTA: Home of the American Bridge Teachers' Association

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

Bridge Problem by Patrick Jourdain    

BridgeProblem 253 for February 2011

How should West play Three Notrumps? Playing fourth-best leads, North leads the three of diamonds to South’s nine.

K 3  
K 5 2  
Q J 10  
A K 7 5 3 
A 7 4
A Q 6 4
6 5 4
  6 4 2

Answer to Bridge problem 253

West should return a diamond at trick two. Suppose first North cashes four diamonds. That leaves an eight-card ending. West will succeed if the hearts are 3-3 or South guards clubs and a major. Assume this is hearts and after North exits, cash the top spades to squeeze South.

If the diamonds are 4-3 then declarer can duck a club and make on a break in clubs or hearts or the squeeze. If North has five diamonds but does not cash the last one West’s should play clubs from dummy ducking if South produces the queen. If the queen has not appeared after two rounds, but the suit is breaking, play a third club hoping South has the queen.

Non-prize problem for February 2011

How should West play Four Hearts on unopposed bidding (e.g. 1-2-2-4)? North leads the trump jack.

A K J 8 6 3  
K 6 4 2  
6 5  
4 2
A Q 7 5
Q 7 6 3 2

Answer to non-prize problem

This deal is from the 1997 Macallan Invitation Pairs in London. South held a singleton spade so the key to the hand was winning the lead in dummy, playing a spade to hand, then crossing back to dummy with a second trump to lead the second spade. South held:

9 8 3  9 4 3 2  A K 10 9 8

South could discard but, when declarer ruffed a spade, had no defence.

The successful declarers were Andrew Robson, Franck Multon, Gabriel Chagas, Lars Blakset and Marc Bompis.

This article has been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.