Jeanni Blume Bridge as Sports

Applebasket Entry, 2014

Submitted by: Jeanni Blume

I always liken bridge to sports, during the Olympics I stated, “If you made a terrible mistake in bridge at least you didn’t break any bones.” During soccer season I yell “Scorrrrrrrre!!” when they get the big bonus. During beginner lessons I tell them, “Learning bridge is like football practice, you throw the ball, you catch the ball. Now here comes the other team, competitive bidding.”

“Leads are like baseball, you pitch and the catcher tells you what to do next since he can see the field.”

“If you are not keeping score it’s like poker without betting, or golf on the putting green, you are practicing.”


Bridge Problem 251


Bridge Problem 251 for December 2010


For Christmas we have two parts to the Prize Problem:

1. How should West play Six Spades on the lead of the queen of trumps?

West                                      East
 J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4                    A K 3 2
 K 5                                      A 9 6 4 3 2
 A 9 3                                    8 7 4
 None                                   None
  1. With ample entries to both hands, how do you play the suit holdings below to lose only one trick?

(a)    A 10 opposite Q 6 5 4 3 2

(b)   A 10 opposite Q 9 5 4 3 2

(c)   A 10 opposite Q 9 8 7 2

An answer to Bridge problem 251

  1. Let the queen of trumps hold the first trick! Then you have two late entries to dummy to ruff out and reach the hearts for two diamond discards. You only fail when the hearts are 5-0. If you win the opening lead you also lose when the hearts are 4-1.
  2. (a) Play low to the ten. You succeed if South has doubleton jack or king;

(b)  Play low to the ACE and return the ten. If no honor has appeared it is equally good to put up the queen or finesse. You succeed with bare honor, Kx or Jx with North, and a successful guess when South has Kx or Jx

(c)  Play the queen! If South does not cover, run it. You succeed if South has: K, J, Kx, Jx, KJ, KJx, Kxxx, or Kxxxx

A non-prize problem for December 2010

In this three-card ending, how does South make two tricks?

                                     ♠ K
                                     ♣ None
West                                                          East
 A                                                              None
 A                                                             None
 Q                                                             4 2
 none                                                      A
                                 ♠ None
                                  5 3
                                 ♣ 2

An answer to a non-prize problem

South leads the losing club. If West throws an ace dummy keeps the two winning kings. If West throws the diamond queen dummy jettisons the king. Then East is endplayed into giving South two diamond tricks.

Patty Tucker Preemptive Bids

Applebasket Entry, 2014

Submitted by: Patty Tucker

When explaining to my students what they should respond to a preemptive type bid (Weak Two Bid, Preempt, Michaels, Unusual 2NT), I tell them…

“You should start with this mindset. If you have a good fit, think, “I wonder how high I should bid”. If you do not have a fit, think, “I bet I should pass”. Beginning to think from that stance will often lead you to making a good decision in the bidding.”


Bridge Problem 252


Bridge Problem by Patrick Jourdain

Bridge Problem 252 for January 2011


How should West play Six Notrumps on a club lead?

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

An answer to Bridge problem 252


West should win the lead in the west hand and play a low diamond from both hands. Win any return, cross to the king of diamonds and cash the top clubs throwing the two losing spades from hand.

The concession of a diamond at trick two guards against the possibility that one defender has four cards in both minors.

An additional problem for January 2011


Try these clues to a bridge crossword:

(a)  Fast food order for two? (4-3, 6)

(b)  Shun material inquiry (9)

An answer to an additional problem


(a)  Take-out double

(b)  Blackwood

This article has been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.

Bridge Problem 253


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.

Eddie Kantar Leading an Honor Card

Applebasket Entry, 2014
Submitted by: Eddie Kantar
When you are about to lead an honor card from a suit that has several equal honors, lead the higher or highest honor if you want the suit covered. If you don’t want the honor covered, lead the second highest honor. It works like a charm.
4 mins

Bridge Problem 254


Bridge Problem 254 for March 2011

West opens a 15-17 1NT and East gambles a raise to 3NT. How should West play Three Notrumps playing Teams against the competent opposition? North leads the king of hearts and continues with the queen when West holds up, South showing an odd number of hearts.

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

An answer to Bridge problem 254

The only genuine chance is that South has the bare ace of clubs, preventing the hold-up. Declarer should win the second heart to prevent a diamond switch, and then play a low club from both hands! If South has to win declarer can later finesse the ten of clubs.

Note that where South does have the bare ace of clubs with a doubleton heart and declarer ducked the second heart South could jettison his ace of clubs on the third heart to create an entry for North holding J 9 8 7!


A non-prize problem for March 2011

How should West play Four Hearts on unopposed bidding 1-2-3-4? North leads two top spades, South wins the first trump and exits with a trump, both defenders following.

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

An answer to a non-prize problem

This deal is from the 1995 Cavendish Invitation Pairs. Robb Gordon made Four Hearts by using dummy’s trump entry to ruff the third spade and then playing a club to the king and a club to the ten.

North held:  A K 5 4   9 6   Q 10 9 4 2   Q 2

and was endplayed with his doubleton club honor. This line was a successful extra chance and still heavy odds-on. If North could exit with a club either they would be 3-3, or if North held four clubs, then the diamond finesse was favorite to win.

This article has been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.

You Can’t Get Away From Me – Test Your Play Column by Eddie Kantar


These articles have been published with permission from Bridge Magazine.

You Can’t Get Away From Me!


Dealer South

Love All:

  1. ? 9632
  2. ? K102
  3. ? AJ1097
  4.  ? 3
  5.  ? AQ7
  6. ? 3
  7. ? KQ8654
  8. ? AQ2

West                North            East              South


1?                   Dbl                  4?                 Dbl

Pass               5?                    All Pass

Partners double was negative, unlimited, showing four spades. Your double showed a strong hand without clear-cut direction. Partner opted for 5? rather than passing the double. The opening lead is the queen of hearts. Plan the play. Diamonds are 1-1.

Your problem is the spade suit. You would like to be able to avoid two spade losers even if West has the king. You can do it, but it will take a little work! The first important step is to duck the opening lead to keep East, the danger hand, from getting in and leading a spade. Say West shifts to a trump which is as good as anything. Win the trump switch (nice play), and play the ace of clubs and ruff a club. Next, another big play: lead the king of hearts from dummy trumping East’s ace. Ruff the ?Q in dummy and exit dummy with the 10 of hearts discarding your small spade. West is now lead with the ?J.

Have any good ideas for West?

A spade return goes smack into ‘Jaws’, (the ?AQ) and any other return can be trumped in dummy while discarding the queen of spades from your hand. Five diamonds made.

Don’t look now but you made an avoidance ducking play at trick one, then you transferred the heart menace from East to West, and, finally, you stripped the hand and made a loser on loser play.

The full deal:


                                        ? 9632
                                        ? K102
                                        ? AJ1097
                                        ? 3
West                                                                     East
?K54                                                                     ?J108
?QJ986                                                                ?A754
?3                                                                         ?2
?QJ64                                                                  ?109875
                                       ? AQ7
                                       ? 3
                                       ? KQ8654
                                     ? AQ2