Collins Bridge Club
Release 2.19p
Previous Prize Problems
Previous Prizewinner No 4

South plays 7 No Trumps. West leads the 10, which is taken by declarer's J.

Can the contract be made?

Thanks to: Brecher and Roth.

Yes, but only by adopting a brilliant line. Play the A, cross to the dummy with Spades, and lead the Q to transfer the menace. Run off all the black winners, and a simple squeeze gives you the contract. If East does not cover the Q, run it; West is most unlikely to have lead from a King against a 7NT contract.

First correct solution: Andy Cole.

Previous Prizewinner No 3

South arrived in 4and West led a trump to his partner's Ace. Declarer allowed the ♣K switch to win, then won the J continuation with dummy's Ace.

You are the declarer. How will you continue to play the hand on the assumption that the bidding sequence makes it likely that the K is in East's hand?

Thanks to: Brecher and Roth.

Cash three rounds of Hearts, eliminating that suit. Then lead dummy's 10. East has to cover, and you throw one of your losing Diamonds. East has two losing options now. He could lead away from the K or concede a ruff-and-discard by playing another Club.

Ten tricks either way!

First correct solution: Alice O'Brien.

Previous Prizewinner No 2

Contract: 6♠ by South. Lead: K.

How can you make this contract against an unfavourable position of ♣K?

Thanks to: Brecher and Roth.

South finds an ingenious solution:

After winning with A at trick one, he crossed to the A, ruffed a Club high, and led a low trump. The J took a trick to which it wasn't entitled, but declarer now had two entries to dummy, allowing him to set up the Clubs, and then get back to them.

First correct solution: Alice O'Brien.

Previous Prizewinner No 1

Contract: 7 by South. Lead: K.

How do you make the contract seeing all the hands? It can be done!

(c) MichaelGlen Bridge.

1.  Play a  from dummy and win in hand with ♣A.
2.  Play a  to dummy.
3. ♠A from dummy, discarding K.
4. ♠ from dummy, ruffing in hand.
5.  to dummy.
6. ♠ from dummy, ruffing in hand.
7.  from hand to dummy.
8.  Last  from dummy, discarding A from hand.
CLAIM dummy's remaining five diamonds.

First correct solution: Alice O'Brien.

Previous Prizewinner No 9

After West's weak jump overcall, North enquired about key cards, assuming spades would be trumps; South promised one key card. North's 5♥ asked about the queen of trumps. South showed the trump queen and the ♣K with his bid of 6♣. North's 6 asked for help in that suit and South knew what to do.

Put yourself in declarer's place on the lead of the K against your grand slam. How will you play to land all tricks?

Thanks to: ACBL (171002).

€10 to first correct entrant, Marie Whyte. Congratulations, Marie!

Declarer counted 12 top tricks and saw that, if trumps were not 4-0, a 13th trick would come from a club break or a club ruff. He also saw that an immediate heart ruff could do no harm.

So declarer took the first trick with the A, ruffed a heart and cashed the queen of trumps. West's discard of a heart was not a total surprise.

Declarer saw that he could still rely on the clubs running, but he was reluctant to do so, and he came up with a better plan.

As it was significantly more likely that East had been dealt a singleton club than a singleton diamond (a void was unlikely due to the absence of a Lightener double), declarer cashed the K and Q before ruffing the 6. It was then a simple matter to draw East's remaining trumps and claim the last four tricks with the A and the three top clubs. Declarer made four trumps, four tricks in the red suits, three in clubs and two ruffs in hand.

Previous Prizewinner No 8

You and your partner did well to get to the slam. How do you plan to make it after West starts with the Q?

Thanks to: ACBL (161219).

Declarer won with the A and could count 12 top tricks if trumps were 2-1. With that in mind, he addressed what could be done if trumps were 3-0. In that event, he would need the spade finesse or clubs to be 4-3. To get the lay of the land, declarer cashed K at trick two. When East discarded a diamond, declarer cashed dummy's three to clubs, discarding a diamond and a spade from hand. When clubs proved to be 4-3, declarer ruffed a club next.

It did not matter whether West overruffed or discarded. Either way, declarer would enter dummy with the A and throw his Q on the established club. If clubs had not been 4-3, declarer would have used dummy's ace of trumps to enter dummy for the spade finesse. 

First correct solution: Marie Whyte.

Previous Prizewinner No 7

Against your slam, West leads the Q. Do you see a way to develop 12 tricks?

Thanks to: ACBL (161017).

Declarer could count 10 top tricks and the only prospect of developing extra tricks was in the heart suit. He saw that any play would work when hearts were 3-3 or there was a doubleton Q J.

One choice was to play East for both the missing heart honours in a four-card holding by playing the ace followed by the 10. However, declarer saw that playing this way would "waste" the value of the 10.

With that in mind, declarer won the opening lead in hand and led a low heart, inserting dummy's 10 when West followed with the 8. East won with the J and got out with a diamond.

After winning the diamond return in dummy, declarer cashed the A and was pleased to see West play the queen. He now had the two extra tricks needed to make the contract. Declarer's play in hearts is best, for it produces four tricks a priori about 61% of the time.

First correct solution: Deirdre O'Leary.

Previous Prizewinner No 6

North didn't have ideal shape for his bid, but passing would have been somewhat wimpy. Against your spade game, West leads the A and continues with K. How do you like your chances of making 10 tricks? What is your next move?

Thanks to: ACBL (151207).

South ruffed the second heart, then played the A and a spade to the king. When West discarded a heart on the second round of trumps, the play suddenly got easier instead of harder. If West had followed twice, declared would have had to judge whether West had two or three trumps before continuing

As it was, declared was now sure to make 10 tricks as long as East had at least three diamonds and two clubs. Declarer began by cashing dummy's two high clubs, then dummy's two high diamonds, followed by a diamond to the ace. East followed to all five tricks.

Declared then ruffed a diamond winner with dummy's Q. He had already scored a heart ruff, three diamonds and two clubs and two high trumps. The diamond ruff with the Q was trick number nine.

East was left in a seemingly strong position with three trumps to the jack, but when declarer played the J from dummy, he could not be prevented from scoring the now-singleton 10 from making his game.

First correct solution: Frank O'Sullivan.

Previous Prizewinner No 5

You took your shot at game when West's weak two-bid was passed to you. Partner upped the ante when he pushed on to slam. West starts with the 10. Can you justify partner's confidence in your dummy play?

Thanks to: ACBL.

At the table, declarer played low on the 10 and ruffed in hand. He followed with the A, A and a spade ruffed with dummy's queen. He returned to hand with the K and pulled trumps; then played a heart to dummy's jack. East won the Q but with no black cards left, he had to play a diamond or a heart, allowing declarer to discard his three losing spades. Well done!

First correct solution: Andy Cole.