Place your bets!


Put your bets down, ladies and gentlemen! Do you back the defense or the declarer on the lead of the CJ?


牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S A J 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H 6

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D Q 5

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C K 10 9 8 4 3 2


牋牋牋牋牋 S 7 6牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S 10 2

牋牋牋牋牋 H A J 9 5 2牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H K 8 7 4

牋牋牋牋牋 D A J 10 6 3牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D 8 7 2

牋牋牋牋牋 C J牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C A Q 6 5


牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S K Q 9 8 5 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H Q 10 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D K 9 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 7


牋牋牋牋 WEST牋牋牋牋 NORTH牋牋牋牋 EAST牋牋牋牋 SOUTH

牋牋牋牋牋 -牋牋牋牋牋 -牋牋牋牋牋 Pass牋牋牋牋 1S

牋牋牋牋 2S (1)牋牋牋 3H牋牋牋牋牋 4H牋牋牋牋牋 4S

牋牋牋牋 All Pass


牋牋牋牋 (1) Michaels.


It certainly looks as if best defense makes life impossible for declarer. Whether declarer covers the first trick or not, West can shift to a heart, and now two rounds of hearts tap dummy. However, declarer can still succeed on accurate play.


He ruffs the second heart and plays West for a 5񪶮1 shape with the DA by ruffing a club high, then leading a diamond to the queen. If West wins to lead another heart, declarer ruffs in dummy and can cash the SA and the DQ, then ruff a club with the 9 to draw trumps. If West ducks, declarer takes the DQ to ruff another club high, then crosses to the SJ to ruff another clubs. Then he goes back to the SA to draw all the trumps and cash the club. That makes three club tricks, six

spades in hand and one ruff in dummy.



Excellent guess


How would you play 6H on a passive lead?


牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S A 7 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H A 9 6

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D K Q 5 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C A K J



牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S K 8 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H K Q 8 7 5 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D 10

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 6 4 3


I guess you lead a diamond from hand at some point. If West takes his ace you are home; if not you could always try to ruff out the DA tripleton before falling back on a club finesse.


All right, how about 6H on a low diamond lead, after South has shown a weak 2H with a spade feature? Now the DA seems to be marked as offside -- but you have an attractive alternative -- run the diamond to your 10! Now you make if West has led from the DJ. If East has both the ace and the jack, then you fall back on the club finesse.


Seems good? Not to Joel Wooldridge, who put up the queen at trick one and played successfully to ruff out the DA tripleton, rejecting his apparent extra chance.


And right he was. Randy Pettit had led a low diamond from


牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S J 6 5 2

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H 10 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋 牋牋牋牋牋牋牋D A 8 7

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 9 7 5 2


If Wooldridge had misguessed at trick one, he would have sunk like a stone.




Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa


So many sins, so little time to confess them. Oh well, it's supposed to ease the mind, so here goes.


Dlr: South牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S 8 6 4 2

Vul: E-W牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋H A 10 9 5

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D A 10 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 3 2

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S A K 7 5

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H K J 3

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D 9 5 2

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 8 7 6


牋牋牋牋 WEST牋牋牋牋 NORTH牋牋牋牋 EAST牋牋牋牋 SOUTH

牋牋牋牋牋 -牋牋牋牋牋 -牋牋牋牋牋牋 -牋牋牋牋牋 1H

牋牋牋牋 2C牋牋牋牋牋 2H牋牋牋牋牋 2NT牋牋牋牋 3H

牋牋牋牋 All Pass


A cowardly act with the East cards no doubt, but your hand looks wasted on offense. Partner leads the CK, and you discourage with the 8. Declarer wins and leads a heart to the ace, partner pitching a low club. Then comes a second heart on which partner pitches the C9. What now?


I have to confess I missed the point altogether here. Partner's lowish club spots must suggest suit preference for diamonds, and so since you may need to lead diamonds through twice, start now.


This was the full deal:

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S 8 6 4 2

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H A 10 9 5

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D A 10 4

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 3 2


牋牋牋牋牋 S J 9 3牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S A K 7 5

牋牋牋牋牋 H --牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H K J 3

牋牋牋牋牋 D Q J 9 3牋牋牋牋牋牋 牋牋D 7 5 2

牋牋牋牋牋 C K Q J 9 5 4牋牋牋牋牋牋 C 8 7 6


牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 S Q 10

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 H Q 8 7 6 4 2

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 D K 8 6

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋 C A 10


I shifted to a club and partner returned a spade, letting me exit with a third heart. But declarer eventually had time to take advantage of the fall of those spade intermediates to set up the S8 for the discard of a diamond and plus 140. I was left with egg on my face.