Bridge Problem by Patrick Jourdain

Bridge Problem 253 for February 2011

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

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

An 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 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.

A 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.

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

An answer to a 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:

 7   9 8 3   9 4 3 2   A K 10 9 8

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

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.