Spade Heart  Diamond Club
Hands (13)
Crucial Play at trick 1

West led the 9 Hearts, which South identified as a likely singleton 
This meant that Hearts were not going to break
Can South avoid two losers.


Careful play at trick1  will help South to solve the problem.

Win the heart lead with Dummy's Queen, playing the 7 hearts from hand instead of the 4.
Draw Trumps in 3 Rounds ending in Dummy
Lead the 8 Hearts which East must cover to protect his potential Heart trick
Win this trick with the King
Play a Diamond to the Ace and now play the 6 hearts from Dummy
East is caught in a dilemma with his J 3 hearts
If he covers Dummy's 6 with the Jack, South wil win with Ace and play his four to Dummy's five
Then a club towards his King of clubs for the twelveth trick
If East does not cover Dummy's 6 hearts,South  will play his carefully preserved 4
Then a club towards his King  for the eventual twelveth trick.





Three Losers at Once

Co-operation in defence is one of the great pleasures in Bridge. On this hand however it was  Declarer  who enjoyed East-West efforts when they combined to help him get rid of three potential  losers all  in the space of one trick..
West led the 7 Clubs and after taking his two top clubs East led a third Club in the hope of promoting 2 Trump tricks for West.  Declarer discarded the 5 Diamonds and when West ruffed wirh the 9 Hearts. Dummy discarded the 4 Spades.
After drawing trumps Declarer  won the rest of the Tricks. A pity that East's constructive  defence was destroyed by West's  thoughtless ruff 'purposeless'. If he does not ruff declarer will be 1 trick short in his contract.


Hand contributed by Pat Wade

This hand  demonstrates the usual futility of ruffing with a winning Trump. 

Bidding Problem

After the Biding as shown what should South bid now ???
(Answer is not  easy  even if you peep at the North  Hand first)

Problem submitted by Tom Lawlor

Various answers have been suggested 
Did you reach the infrangible Grand Slam??

Win Cheaply

Opening lead 7 Hearts
The Rule of Eleven shows that South has only one Heart  higher than than the 7
Further analysis (more difficult perhaps) will shown that South's Heart should not be the Queen
So if East plays the Jack it will win the trick
Will he rue the Play??


If East wins  the Trick cheaply with the Jack , the Heart suit is blocked and the defence loses a vital  tempo and with it the certainty of defeating the Contract

So win the first trick wtht the Ace and return the Jack and let your Partner force out the King while he still has an Entry

(South's Heart should not be the Queen, because if he had that card, then West would have the 10 9 8 7 and would have led the 10)


Thoughtful Play

6S by South. Opening Lead Q Clubs.
South has 2 seemingly unavoidable losers  - A trump and a Heart.

After winning the the first trich with the A Clubs, South leads dummy's JS and wins this trick with  AS.

Now a Diamond to Dummy, Club ruff and cash A-J diamonds.

Now South cashes A-K Hearts and exits with a Spade to West's K

West must now give Declarer a ruff and a sluff on next trick.

Six Spades made,

Think First

Opening lead 6D against South's 3NT


South must resist the temptaion to let the diamond  run to the QJ 4 in the South hand

Otherwise with good defence he will be cut off from the Clubs in his own hand



How do you make 6 Spades after opening Lead  of Jack Clubs.

With Eleven tricks cold, the twelvth has to come from Hearts
Win  first trick with K Clubs
Draw trumps in three rounds
Cash A Hearts
Play a small Heart towards Dummy
West will win with the J  and continue Clubs (best)
Win this trick with A Clubs
Cash remaining 3 Trumps
Cash K Hearts
Play remaing Club towards the Q in Dummy
West is destroyed

Small Slam

Can anybody bid theSmall Slam ??? (Hand from Pat Taaffe Trophy 18/09/11)

Serpent West

Opening lead 2H. East won  with AH and continued with the 4H. West won with JH and   now played the KH. On the basis that West is a Life Master, how should South continue.

If South ruffs the KH in Dummy she will eventually find herself blocked from the Diamond suit. So, she should let KH win. Contract is now safe

Look Before You Leap

Opening Lead K Spades

After ruffing the opening KS, cash the AH and then the JH, followed by the 10H if West does not cover. Then start cashing the Minor suits. West may take his QH whenever he likes for his only trick for the Defence.

If the KH is cashed befors the AH, West will force Declarer with another Spade when he wins the QH and will eventually score a second trump trick for the Defence

Tough Defence

Contract 4S by South.. Opening lead is 2H. East wins KH and shifts to QD.  South seems to have a loser in every suit. Can She make her Contract??

South should lead Clubs at once before drawing Trumps. West will win AC and continue Diamonds.Dummy wins AD and continues Clubs. East ruffs the third Club and South overruffs. South gets back to Dummy with a Heart ruff and continues Clubs. Whether or not East ruffs with Ace of Trumps, South discards her losing Diamond.

Improve Your Chances

Contract 4H by South. Opening lead is 6S
South plays low from Dummy. East wins the trick with the Ace and returns a Spade to Dummy's King

What is the best play now to make 4H (assuming no friendly breaks)??
Answers to both problems (if required) next week


After winning the 2nd trick in Dummy with KS, play a small club towards your own hand. West will win and return a Trump (best). Win in Dummy with the QH and play another small club. Ruff this trick  small and play JS. Ruff the Jack in Dummy and play a 3rd small club. Ruff small in hand and draw 2 rounds of Trumps, leaving a Trump outstanding in West's Hand. Now play on Diamonds. West may ruff at her discretion, but the Contract is secure with  KS and a Spade ruff in Dummy, 6 Trump Tricks including 2 Club Ruffs and 2 Diamonds in Dummy.

Basic Technique

Contract 3NT by South. Opening Lead is QH.

East will overtake the QH opening lead. With 6 Hearts between the N/S hands the Rule of 7 applies. So duck the first heart and take the Heart continuation. With 8 playing tricks and no way of getting at the QS in the North hand without letting West in, the best play is a throw-in. So, after winning the Heart continuaton at trick 2, cash A K Spades and A K Q J diamonds, then exit with a Heart. West will cash his 3 Heart winners, but must give you the last 2 tricks by either playing a spade to the Queen in Dummy or a Club to the Club tenace in your own hand.