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Bridge Problem 255 for April 2011

How should West play Six Notrumps? North leads a spade.

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

Answer to Bridge problem 255

You will need the heart finesse even if the diamonds break so use an early club entry to dummy to take that finesse. When it wins, clear the clubs. Depending on what is returned take a second heart finesse, a second spade, a second diamond and the clubs leaving the lead in dummy. Dummy is left with two hearts and a diamond, West has two diamonds and a heart. If South has two diamonds left his heart king must fall even if he originally held four. The ending is a criss-cross squeeze when South holds four cards in each red suit. If North has the diamonds guarded you need South to have at most three hearts to the king.

Note you must not take a second heart finesse before clearing the clubs or a third heart can break up the criss-cross.

Non-prize problem for April 2011

West
East

You are East defending against Helgemo & Helness on this auction:

West     North    East      South

            Helness              Helgemo

Pass      Pass      1      Dble

3      5      Pass      6

All Pass

Partner leads a low heart suggesting four and you can see:

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

How do you plane the defence when your heart king wins?

Answer to non-prize problem

This deal is from the quarterfinal of the 1997 Bermuda Bowl match between Norway and Italy. Lauria found the only winning return at the second trick of a diamond into dummy’s suit. This was devastating when Helgemo proved to hold solid trumps, spade ace and a singleton in each red suit:

A 9 6 5  A K Q J 10 8 5

Declarer could only dispose of one spade on the diamonds and went two off. Any other return allows him to draw trumps and run the diamonds with the aid of a finesse.

This article has been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.