Problem 246 for July 2010


How should West play Six Diamonds after the bidding shown below where North has opened a weak two in hearts? North leads ?10


West                                East
? K 5                               ? A J 10 8 7
? A 9 8 5 3                     ? 2
? A K J 10 9 3                 ? Q 2
? None                        ? A 9 8 7 6

West             North                 East                  South

2?                 Pass                    Pass

5?                 Pass                     6?                      All Pass


An answer to Prize problem 246


Hopefully North, who has six hearts, has at most two clubs. You play low from dummy at trick one and ruff low in hand. You play one high trump from hand to see if they are 5-0. If both follow you play the ace of hearts and ruff a heart high then a second low club ruffing in hand. Then you run all the trumps throwing clubs from the dummy. You finish by playing ?K and finessing ?j. This loses to South but provided he is out of red cards he must concede the rest to a dummy.

If the trumps are 5-0 (suppose North has 5) you assume he has led a singleton club and return to hand with a spade to the king continuing as before.


A non-prize problem for July 2010


West is in Four Hearts at Pairs on the lead of ?2 after the bidding shown below. The opponents, playing Standard American, lead 3rd and fifth. What is South’s shape and how do you play for maximum tricks?

South                West                 North                East

1?                       1?                     3?                       4?

Pass                  4?                    All Pass

3? was pre-emptive and 4? a splinter

West                                 East
? 5 4                                 A K 10
A K 5 2                         ? J 9 8 6 4 3
?  A 2                               Q 9 8 5
? K J 10 8 4                     None

An answer to a non-prize problem

This deal is from the 1999 Life Masters Pairs at the ACBL Fall Nationals. Eddie Wold, partnering George Rosenkranz, worked out South’s shape must be 4-3-3-3. Reasoning: North has shown five clubs so South has three, the spades must be 4-4 because neither opponent has bid the suit, and West cannot have more than three diamonds or he would have opened that rather than 1?. Therefore he has three hearts.

So Wold discarded a diamond from dummy on the opening lead and later crossed to the top spades to lead the ?J for a finesse. Result: 12 tricks and 68/77 match points.

South held: Q J 7 2  ? Q 10 7  ? K 6 3  ? A 5 3

This article has been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.