Bridge World Extra! Newsletter
Bridge World Extra! Newsletter

SWISS MATCH


This is the first board of a seven-board Swiss match.

West dealer
Neither side vulnerable

NORTH (dummy)
S 2
H 10 9 8 7 3
D A 9
C Q J 10 9 6




EAST (you)
S Q 10 9 8 7 4
H 4
D 10 4
C K 8 7 3

SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
--2 H*PassPass
DoublePassPass2 S
DoublePass3 CPass
6 NTPassPassPass
*weak; sometimes very weak

LHO seemed a little angry when he bid six notrump.

Heart king, three, four, ace.

Club five, deuce, nine, ?

Plan your defense.

Solution below.

NORTH
S 2
H 10 9 8 7 3
D A 9
C Q J 10 9 6
WEST
S 6 3
H K Q J 6 2
D J 6 5 3 2
C 2
EAST
S Q 10 9 8 7 4
H 4
D 10 4
C K 8 7 3
SOUTH
S A K J 5
H A 5
D K Q 8 7
C A 5 4

Partner's club deuce is clearly a singleton, so declarer could have taken three fast club tricks if he had wanted to. Obviously, he wants four slow club tricks instead. You can't stop that, but you should certainly hold up your club king, to make him use the ace-of-diamonds entry to cash the long club.

After you hold up, declarer will presumably continue clubs, probably interposing a finesse of the jack of spades (he must have something for his leap), and you'll be in with the club king. If this position arises, it can't hurt to switch to the ten of diamonds. If declarer has king-queen-jack of diamonds, the diamonds are all his anyway. If he doesn't, he has at most three spade tricks, one heart, three diamonds and four clubs--eleven tricks--unless he can squeeze your partner between hearts and diamonds. Your diamond return will prevent that; it will force declarer to use his ace of diamonds before the spade winners are cashed, or else to destroy the entry position necessary to the squeeze. Note that if you don't make both key plays, holding up and shifting, partner is dead as a doornail.

SWISS MATCH


This is the fifth board of a seven-board Swiss match.

East dealer
East-West vulnerable

NORTH (dummy)
S --
H K Q J 10 9
D K Q J 10 3
C Q 6 2
WEST (you)
S A Q J 10
H 8 6 2
D 7 5 4 2
C A 7

SOUTHWESTNORTHEAST
------1 S
5 C5 S 6 C Double
PassPassPass

What is your opening lead?

The ace of clubs is a good shot. If dummy is weak in outside playing strength, you may find it profitable to cut down on immediate ruffs. Another possibility is that the opponents have losers in one red suit and winners in the other. A look at dummy may enable you to guide the defense correctly. It is also possible that leading the ace of clubs will lose a tempo, or give up the opportunity to find out if a spade trick will cash (dummy may be relatively long in spades), but on balance it will come out ahead.

Club ace, deuce, nine, three.

Now what?

Solution below.

NORTH
S --
H K Q J 10 9
D K Q J 10 3
C Q 6 2
WEST
S A Q J 10
H 8 6 2
D 7 5 4 2
C A 7
EAST
S K 9 8 7 6
H A 7 5 4 3
D A 8
C 9
SOUTH
S 5 4 3 2
H --
D 9 6
C K J 10 8 5 4 3

Do not lead a red card. There's no reason to do so. If you were tempted to try to cash a red ace of partner's (he must have both for his opening bid), you must concentrate on replacing panic with counting. If you lead a second trump, or a spade, the most declarer can take is 11 tricks: six trumps, one ruff, four in a red suit. He lacks the entries to get both red suits going. However, if you lead a red suit and happen to pick one where South is void, you provide an extra entry that will enable the use of both red suits. If you happen to shift to a heart in the actual set-up, declarer will make his contract.








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