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Problems Problems …

There were some amazing deals this week and I have selected one that I will be featuring in the first chapter of my new series “Evil at the Bridge Table”. I will describe the play and then set you another problem to solve.

Board 4 Thursday from Thursday 13/09/2018
Dealer W All Vul

Board#4 13/09/2018

We bid this one to 4S by North, with the use of our “Super club”. I won’t go into detail now, that will be covered in the first chapter of “Evil at the Bridge Table”. Some of you may have played 4S by South after a 2NT opening and a transfer sequence. North’s declarer play after the ace of clubs lead followed by another club after West signals encouragement is worth noting. Declarer ruffed the second club and led a spade but instead of playing the king, inserted the nine when East played low. Then the king followed and, when West showed out, declarer left East with two trumps and started on hearts. East ruffed the fourth round, on which declarer discarded a diamond. East could do nothing to harm declarer after ruffing. A club would be ruffed in declarer’s hand and the last trump drawn with the ace for declarer to take the rest of the hearts in dummy, and if East led the queen of diamonds, dummy would win the ace and then take out the last trump and lead a diamond towards the jack in hand.

Keeping control was so important in this deal. Declarer could see that there was almost certainly a trump loser (unless the QJ were doubleton), and could see the advantages of putting in the nine of trumps. If they broke badly and West had QJxx nothing could be done, if East had QJxx then declarer might succeed thanks to the power of the heart suit where declarer’s queen was a huge card. You may ask: what if East had ‘split’ the trump honours and gone in with the queen of spades? Declarer’s answer would have been to cross to the queen of hearts in hand and repeat the spade finesse. Then play on hearts until East ruffs. Then the last trump is drawn and declarer has more heart tricks in dummy and the ace of diamonds which comes to ten tricks.

Now, for our second readers’ problem. How does declarer make 4S if East leads the queen of diamonds (or if South is declarer, West leads a low diamond)? The best answer will receive a free subscription to “Evil Bridge at the Table”.

Answers can be submitted directly to me at