stevesgames (stevesgames) wrote,

Bridge Column

                   DEPT. OF DEFENSE

                  by Stephen Rzewski

  Problem #1:

    matchpoints        North
    vul:  none        (dummy)

                      ♠ J1082
                      ♥ 1097
                      ♦ AK9
                      ♣ Q64


      ♠ K65                                                
      ♥ J5                                               
      ♦ 1076                                                 
      ♣ AK873

     bidding:   W      N      E     S
              pass   pass    1♦    1♥
               2♣     2♥     (all pass)       

	You start with the ace-king of clubs, partner
following first with the jack, then the 10.  You continue 
with the 8 of clubs (asking for a spade return).  Partner
ruffs with the 8 of hearts and dutifully returns the 9 
of spades.  Declarer pauses for a moment, then follows 
low, as you win with the king.  Now what?


  Problem #2:


                      ♠ Q972
                      ♥ 865
                      ♦ K94
                      ♣ AK4


      ♠ 543                                                
      ♥ QJ10                                                
      ♦ J86                                               
      ♣ J976

      bidding:    S      W      N      E

                 1NT   pass    2♣     pass
                 2♠    pass    4♠    (all pass)
                     (1NT = 15-17 hcp)

	You lead the queen of hearts, and upon seeing 
dummy, reflect that in North’s place you would have 
eschewed Stayman and bid 3NT directly with the flat
distribution.  Partner signals encouragement with the
7, as declarer wins the ace.  Declarer then draws trumps
with the ace, king, and jack from his hand, partner 
following twice before discarding the deuce of hearts. 
Declarer then plays the ace-king of clubs and a low 
club to his queen, everyone following.  Then he exits 
with a heart; you play the 10, and partner overtakes 
with the king before playing a 3rd heart to your jack, 
once again everyone following suit.  What do you now 
play, looking at:

                         ♠ Q
                         ♥ ---
                         ♦ K94
                         ♣ ---

          ♠ ---                                               
          ♥ ---                                              
          ♦ J86                                              
          ♣ J                                    


   Problem #1:
                         ♠ J1082
                         ♥ 1097
                         ♦ AK9
                         ♣ Q64

        ♠ K65                          ♠ Q94
        ♥ J5                           ♥ KQ8
        ♦ 1076                         ♦ QJ832
        ♣ AK873                        ♣ J10

                         ♠ A73
                         ♥ A6432
                         ♦ 54
                         ♣ 952

	You should lead your lowest club, asking partner
to ruff as high as he can, so as to achieve an “uppercut”
and promote your jack of hearts.  Partner figures to have
two trumps remaining after the club ruff; if he holds
either K-x or Q-x, declarer will be able to pick up the 
remaining trumps unless you make this play now.  At this
point, you are perhaps not being so optimistic about 
setting the contract, but it is matchpoints, and overtricks
can be very significant in this kind of situation.  As it
is, partner’s trump holding is stronger than you anticipated,
and your play results in scoring two more trump tricks 
instead of one, since if declarer gets in quickly, he can 
play ace of hearts and another, bringing down your
remaining trumps together and scoring up his contract. 
Result:  down one instead.

   Problem #2:
                          ♠ Q972
                          ♥ 865
                          ♦ K94
                          ♣ AK4

        ♠ 543                            ♠ 108
        ♥ QJ10                           ♥ K742
        ♦ J86                            ♦ A1032
        ♣ J976                           ♣ 1032

                          ♠ AKJ6
                          ♥ A93
                          ♦ Q75
                          ♣ Q85

	Playing the jack of clubs in the end position 
will give declarer a ruff-and-sluff, so you must break 
the diamond suit, but you must do so with extreme caution.
Declarer has shown up so far with 14 high-card points, 
so you know precisely that he holds the queen of diamonds
and partner holds the ace.  If declarer has the 10, the 
party is over, so place that card in your partner’s hand
as well.

     If you lead the 6, declarer will play low from dummy,
and your partner will have to put up the 10 to force the 
queen.  Declarer can now lead low to the 9 and force 
partner’s ace, losing only one trick in the suit.  If you
start with the jack, declarer may go wrong if he plays you 
for the 10, but if he reads the position, he can put up 
dummy’s queen.  Partner can win the ace, but he will be 
endplayed by having to lead away from the 10 to dummy’s 9.

     It is critical that you lead the 8 of diamonds, the 
only choice that is foolproof.   If the 9 is played from
dummy, partner will cover with the 10, declarer winning 
the queen.  If the 7 is played next, you must cover with 
the jack:  the king and ace will be played over those cards,
and your 6 will become the setting trick!  

	For those of you who recall our previous column 
entitled “Surrounding Play”, you will see that the lead of 
the 8 is a play of that type, as declarer’s 7 is effectively
surrounded and captured by your J-6.

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